The 4th of July is upon us and there will be plenty of fireworks this weekend. While the displays can be quite impressive and beautiful, they can also be very dangerous. July is also "Fireworks Safety Month" intended to alert parents and children to the dangers of lighting fireworks. Fireworks are responsible for thousands of people treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments each year. According to the National Fire Protection Association: In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage. In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries; 55% of 2014 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head. The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14. On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires. Please have a happy and safe holiday this weekend!


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