Fireworks on average send more children than adults to the ER every year

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — With fireworks going on sale today Bakersfield officials warn people about the dangers and risks both illegal and legal fireworks have.

Luke Lawson like many others celebrate the Fourth of July with food, friends and of course fireworks. However, things took a turn when Luke had about 15 sparklers lit at the same time.

“About 10 to 15 sparklers were in Luke’s left hand, they lit them and as I was talking to my cousin about 20 to 30 feet away we saw this giant flash,” Luke’s Father Eric Lawson said.

“It blew up my hand and put a big hole in my pants,” Luke said.

We spoke with Rachael Williams, a burn surgeon at Memorial Hospital who says the kind of burn that Luke had is actually common and happens much more often with kids than you might think.

Unfortunately, we do see a large proportion of children injured for using sparkler fireworks. Those fireworks in particular get incredibly hot,” Williams said. “As hot as a blowtorch. And we would just advise you to avoid using them or use them in the hands of an adult.”

Sparklers can get up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit which is hot enough to melt some metals.

A new product safety report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said, at least 18 people died from firework related incidents in 2020. It also reported over 15,000 people were treated in emergency departments for firework injuries in 2020.

But it’s not just legal fireworks people should be careful with. Illegall fireworks can be unpredictable and act like a wildcard. You never know when one might go off.

“We can’t guarantee what’s going to happen with that type of firework,” Fire Battalion Chief Chris Bowles said. “They explode, they shoot up in the air and don’t know where they are going to land and we don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s a lot of injuries and fires that result from illegal fireworks.”

Chief Bowles also said if you’re planning to be celebrate the Fourth of July you should buy legal fireworks and don’t tamper with them. If the firework doesn’t work then dump it in a bucket of water and throw it away.

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