Albracht, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, (608)
– The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and Wisconsin residents are looking
forward to firing up the grill, sharing cold drinks and hot food and lighting
fireworks with family and friends. State
officials ask Wisconsin families to use great caution when dealing with
fireworks over the holiday weekend, particular in the presence of children.
year, 40 percent of all fireworks injuries nationwide are sustained by children
under the age of 15,” said Michelle Reinen, Director of Wisconsin’s Bureau of
Consumer Protection. “Adults should
handle and light all fireworks and children should enjoy the sights and sounds
from a safe distance – the Fourth of July weekend is no exception to that
in 2013, there were eight deaths and
an estimated 11,400 consumers who sustained injuries related to fireworks. This is an increase from 8,700 injuries in
2012. Sixty-five percent, or 7,400, of
the injuries in 2013 occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4, 2013.
2013, approximately nine Wisconsin residents were hospitalized and 65 visited
emergency departments due to fireworks-related injuries, according to Karen
McKeown, State Health Officer. Children
under the age of 15 made up 20 percent of these cases.
law regulates the use of fireworks. Fireworks such as roman candles, firecrackers, bottle rockets, mortars –
anything that explodes or leaves the ground – can only be purchased and used
with a permit issued by your local government.
devices such as sparklers and cones do not require a permit, but that does not
mean they can be used safely by children. More than half of the nation’s reported fireworks-related injuries are
burns. “Many parents think of sparklers
as a safe toy, but a lit sparkler burns at temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees
Fahrenheit and can cause third-degree burns,” said McKeown.
are a number of safe alternatives to fireworks that will keep children
entertained over the weekend. Consider
stocking up on flashing LED lights or glow sticks, bracelets or necklaces. They can last up to 12 hours and are available
in a wide range of colors, keeping your children entertained a lot longer than
a sparkler or firework. As an added
benefit, any of these items will help make a child visible to a driver if they
are playing after nightfall.
you plan to use fireworks, follow these safety tips to ensure a safe Fourth of
July for your family:
- Never allow
children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Read and follow
all warnings and instructions.
- A responsible
adult should closely supervise all fireworks activities.
- Be sure other
people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Never point or
throw fireworks at another person.
- Light fireworks
on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, flammable materials and dry
leaves and grass.
- Light one item at
a time and then move back quickly.
- Never carry
fireworks in a pocket or light them in or near metal or glass containers.
- Keep a bucket of
water or a hose handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
- Most importantly
– if fireworks fizzle and don't ignite, douse them with water and do not
additional information on fireworks safety on the Wisconsin Department of Health
Services website: http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/health/InjuryPrevention/Fireworks.htm
consumer information, visit the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and
Consumer Protection on the web at http://datcp.wisconsin.gov, by e-mail at email@example.com, by phone at
1-800-422-7128, or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/wiconsumer.