Thank goodness for our sponsors at Mercy Kids! They have a few quick tips to keep in mind when it comes to firework safety.
Note from Kelli and Mindi: Thank you Dr. Kody for talking to us honestly about firework safety! It can be a scary time of year for moms! We appreciate you looking out for what is best for our babies–no matter how old our “babies” may be! =)
What is the Number One tip for Firework Safety?
Let me begin with full disclosure by admitting that I love fireworks. And I don’t think it is just because of my Y-chromosome that these seemingly controlled fires and explosions give me a thrill every summer. Thanks to the Chinese who invented them, fireworks have become as American as apple pie, helping us celebrate our nation’s independence or even the joyous end of a baseball game or a long day at an amusement park. But even though fireworks are common in our society, we can’t forget they demand a healthy degree of respect.
Every year thousands of people (both adults and children) wind up in the emergency department with firework-related injuries, ranging from minor burns to serious eye injuries – the majority of these coming from sparklers. Most of us get nervous about our children getting too close to the oven when we are baking a cake at 350°F, but many people don’t think twice about handing their child a sparkler that burns at 1200°F and spits flaming embers at their face, hands, arms and clothes.
If we are being completely honest with ourselves, there is a big difference between the million-dollar pyrotechnics display arranged by experts and the “buy one get 10 free” fireworks that litter every street corner and grocery store parking lot. This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics helped found the Alliance to Stop Consumer Fireworks, encouraging all families to skip the at-home fireworks and instead celebrate with glow sticks or attend a professional firework display. So, sorry to be the killjoy of the party, but the number one way to be safe with fireworks is to not do them yourself.
If my child suffers from a mild burn, what is the best home remedy?
Cool water is the only home remedy you need to remember.
Let’s say the unthinkable does happen, and the neighbor’s firework goes rogue and burns your child. The first step is to cool the skin to stop the burning. Hold the burn under cool (NOT cold) running water for no more than five minutes (or cover with a cool wet rag for no more than 30 minutes). If the skin gets too wet (like when a kid looks like a prune in the bathtub) then it becomes fragile and can be damaged more. Once the skin is cooled, cover the burn with a dry, non-stick gauze. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) are best to help with pain.
Do NOT apply anything else. Don’t listen to friends who claim to have a magic cure for burns using butter, powders or some mixture of an essential oil as all of these things can cause further tissue damage and irritation making the burn worse. Over-the-counter burn sprays can provide relief, but there are some people who can have serious life-threatening reactions to the sprays that contain a numbing medicine called benzocaine, so it is best to be safe and keep it simple.
The next question is whether your child then needs to see a doctor. A good rule of thumb is this: if the burn blisters, or if the burn is on the face, hands, feet or genitals it is NOT a minor burn and needs to be evaluated by a doctor.
Stay safe this season, and for more information check out the AAPs parent education website www.healthychildren.org
Dr. Kody is part of the Mercy Clinic Pediatrics–Nixa team located at 940 W. Mt. Vernon Street, Suite 220, Nixa. To schedule an appointment, call the clinic at 417.724.5437 or click here to visit their website.
Looking for other summer Healthy Quick Tips? Click here to read Sunscreen 101 or here for info on what to do when your child is stung.
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