Trauma surgeons issue warning about firework injuries

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The fun with fireworks can quickly turn tragic. That's why emergency rooms at area hospitals are gearing up for a busy week ahead of the Fourth of July.

St. Vincent trauma surgeons see a 30% increase in patients in July. They say many of those firework injuries involve children 12 and under. They advise parents not to allow kids to play with fireworks, not even sparklers.

"So sparklers seem very safe and they can be if they're properly supervised but they get extremely hot. 1,500 or 2,000 degrees," St. Vincent Trauma Medical Director, Dr. Lewis Jacobson said.

Many of the injuries can be life altering.

"These injuries can be devastating because they involve the hand and the face about 3% result in amputation of some part of the hand a lot of them involve burns of the hand and the face and eye injuries that can lead to loss of vision in one eye or both eyes," Jacobson said.

The majority of injuries treated at St. Vincent resulted from homemade and amateur fireworks displays.

And if you're looking for the big stuff to fire off on your own Mark's Fireworks has a few tips for amateurs.

"Big stuff is made to be let off on secure ground you know you just common sense you didn't want to do it on an unlevel ground where they might tip over and then shoot the wrong way," manager Rick Miller said.

The biggest takeaway is to use common sense.

"If the driver of your automobile is reckless then bad things are going to happen fireworks are no different. If you're a reckless individual bad things are going to happen," Miller said.

There were more than 300 firework related injuries in Indiana last year.