Fireworks can be dangerous, especially in children’s hands, a UCI Health doctor warns.

June 29, 2023
Fireworks shoot from a hand-held fountain.
Some firework devices and sparklers can burn as hot at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

IN THE NEWS: Recreational use of fireworks can never truly be called “safe.” In 2021 alone, more than 11,500 people were treated for fireworks-related injuries in U.S. hospitals, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

More than 2,500 of them were under age 15; 800 were under age 5. Nearly a third of all injuries involved firecrackers or sparklers.

As Fourth of July celebrations near, UCI Health internist Dr. Israel De Alba told Univision in an interview about fireworks safety that sparklers are especially dangerous in the hands of little ones.

“We see many cases each year of little children with burns on their hands and other parts of their body,” De Alba said.

“[People] think the use of these little stars are not dangerous when, in fact, they can get up to 2,000 degrees [Fahrenheit]. They can also suffer injuries to their eyes, since these small sparks can easily damage the face. Children should always be under the supervision of an adult and should never be operating these devices alone."

De Alba advises parents and other adults to take precautions when planning to use fireworks.

“Adults should also have first aid kits available and close by. We recommend in the case of a burn, submerging the affected area in water immediately. This helps to eliminate the extension of the burn. It also helps with the pain and helps limit the damage.”

De Alba is a professor of Hospital Medicine and a research scientist at the UCI School of Medicine. His research interests include health disparities as well as cancer screening and prevention.

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