The Dangers of Fireworks

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - It's that time of year for fireworks and Fourth of July celebrations, but there are some precautions you should take before handling sparklers and fireworks.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine told Fox 54, "These are the fireworks that are legal in the state of Georgia. They are fun, they have a lot of colors but they don't use the high amounts of gun powder the illegal ones do."

Each year, nearly 10,000 people go to hospital with firework related injuries.

Dr. Michael Morgenstern, an emergency physician at St. Francis, said, "The injuries are varies. They can be minor with first or second degree burns or unfortunately we can lose limbs and that happens every year."

Most of those injuries affect children who misuse the dangerous devices.

"These heat up to almost 3,000 degrees and the burns can be significant. Children like to wave these things close to their face and they can have facial burns as well. Some can be permanently disfiguring," said Morgenstern.

That's why Commissioner John Oxendine is traveling around the state to promote safety as we approach the 4th of July, "We strongly recommend wearing eye protection. Use a lighter with an extended handle so you can light it and get away. These need to be handled by adults. They are not toys and they burn at high temperatures and even though they don't explode, they cause severe burns if they touch human skin."

But it's not always kids that are in danger. Sometimes adults end up with injuries.

"Individuals who are shooters are not to be intoxicated. There tends to be prevalence in doing that. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix," added Dr. Morgenstern.

Doctors told us there are some things you can do if you accidentally get burned by a firework. First, put a cold cloth on the burned spot but then seek medical attention for any type of injury associated with fireworks.