Keeping Children Safe When Using Fireworks

For Immediate Release: June 30, 2004

Contact: Vermont Department of Health
Communication Office
802- 863-7281

BURLINGTON, VT – Many Vermonters use fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July. Fireworks can be a fun part of family and community traditions but without careful supervision, they can become dangerous to both adults and children.

For those who choose to use them, here are some tips that parents can take to increase the safety of using fireworks.

Read and follow all warnings and instructions on the package.

About 50 percent of people injured by fireworks in the U.S. are children ages 14 years and younger. Firework injuries are most commonly associated with sparklers, firecrackers and rockets.

More than half of the injuries caused by fireworks involve burns, usually on the hands, fingers, eyes, head and face. Misused fireworks can also cause life threatening residential fires.

Vermonters should only use fireworks that are legal in Vermont. These include sparklers and novelty sparkling items, smoke bombs or smoke devices, snakes and snappers. Firecrackers, bottle rockets, and other illegal fireworks are especially dangerous to children.