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Fireworks are Exciting but Injure more than 3,700 Children Each Summer


Fireworks are Exciting but Injure more than 3,700 Children Each Summer


Safe Kids West Michigan reminds parents to be prepared and follow top safety tips


[Muskegon MI; June 26, 2015] — The Fourth of July is a time for celebration across the country, and fireworks are a crowd favorite each year. Safe Kids West Michigan reminds parents that while fireworks can be fun to watch, they also can be dangerous, especially around kids. Whenever possible, leave the firework displays to the professionals.


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Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing. In 2013, more than 11,400 people sustained injuries involving fireworks that resulted in trips to the emergency room.


“Each Fourth of July season, we see tragic accidents and an uptick in fires caused by consumer fireworks,” said Holly Alway, Injury Prevention Coordinator at Mercy Health. “Even sparklers, which are often thought of as harmless enough for children to hold, burn at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause significant injuries.”


“Knowing the harm fireworks inflict each year, particularly on young people, we urge everyone to leave fireworks to professionals who are trained to safely put on displays. It is by far the safest way to enjoy them,” said Dr. Gerald Buchanan, vice chief of emergency medicine for Mercy Health Muskegon.


In addition to an increase in firework-related injuries, local emergency departments also see an increase in traumatic injuries. Alway recommends the following top tips to keep safe this summer.


  • Give kids your undivided attention. Actively supervise children throughout the summer, whether it’s at the playground or in and around water.
  • Be extra careful with sparklers. Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. Let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to burn glass.
  • Wear life jackets. Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure their life jacket fits snugly.
  • Never leave your child alone in a car, not even for a minute. It can be tempting to leave a child alone in a car while you quickly run into a store, but it can cause serious injury or even death in a matter of minutes. Reduce the number of deaths from heatstroke by remembering to ACT – Avoid heatstroke, Create reminders and Take action if you see a child left alone.


  • Wear a helmet for biking and other wheeled sports. A helmet is the single most effective safety device available to reduce head injury and death from bike and ATV crashes. Everyone should wear an appropriate helmet when biking, skateboarding and riding ATV’s.
  • Set up your grill and recreational fires with safety in mind. Position your grill or bonfire away from siding, deck railings and overhanging branches, while keeping a safety distance from play areas and foot traffic. Never apply lighter fluid, gasoline or other accelerants directly to open flames.


To learn more safety tips, visit


For more information about summer safety, contact 231.672.4910 or visit


About Safe Kids West Michigan

Safe Kids West Michigan works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids West Michigan is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to prevent­ing unintentional injury. Safe Kids West Michigan was founded in 2001 and is led by Mercy Health.  For more information, visit or



About Mercy Health

Mercy Health is a multi-campus health care system dedicated to providing highly personalized care, excellent access to primary care providers and specialists, and a more informed patient experience. Mercy Health serves West Michigan and the lakeshore with five hospital campuses, more than 60 physician offices, more than 1,300 medical staff physicians, more than 800 hospital beds and 7,200 associates, and hospice, home health and long term care service offerings. Mercy Health Physician Partners, our multi-specialty physician network, employs more than 500 Physicians and Advanced Practice Professionals in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, and the lakeshore. The system includes leading teaching hospitals, and renowned clinical leadership in oncology, cardiology, orthopedics, and neurology. Mercy Health Saint Mary’s is a Magnet®-recognized hospital. Mercy Health is a regional health ministry of Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health, one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 21 states from coast to coast with 86 hospitals, 89 continuing care facilities, and home health and hospice programs that provide nearly 2.8 million visits annually. Visit us at and, and find us on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.








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