Preventing Firework Injuries

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We know the importance of being safe around fireworks this July Fourth holiday.  Doctors are Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center say not doing so could cause lifelong injuries.

Dr. Ronald Strony expects it to be a busy few days at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center near Wilkes-Barre.  He's Director of Emergency Medicine there.

"We all like to see it, we all like to experience it, we all like to celebrate.  But there really isn't a safe firework in and of itself.  The only safe kind is the one you watch from a distance, that the pros are putting on," said Dr. Strony.

He notes that even sparklers, often seen as the most harmless of fireworks, burn at a very intense heat.

"We let our kids walk around with them in their hands.  But we wouldn't let them walk around with torches in their hands!  Let the professionals do the professional job," he said.

The most common injuries from fireworks are blast and burn injuries, according to Dr. William Krywicki.  He's an orthopaedic surgeon and Director of Orthopaedics at GWV.

"Even the smallest of firecrackers can create an injury," he said.

Dr. Krywicki points out that those are injuries that can last a lifetime, from burns to lost fingers to fractures that can cause stiffness or loss of function.

"It's an explosive.  It's something that can cause damage, and treating it as such is the best way to prevent injuries from happening," he said.

Dr. Strony also mentioned that alcohol and fireworks is a bad combination, since alcohol slows reaction time.