Date: June 29, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kathryn Wesolowski
(216) 983-1124 or Kathy.Wesolowski@UHhospitals.org
Fireworks Injure 2,600 Kids Each Summer
UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland
Offer Fourth of July Safety Tips
CLEVELAND, OH – The Fourth of July is a time for celebration across the country, and here in Greater
Cleveland fireworks are a crowd favorite each year. Whether at a professional show or in the backyard,
fireworks can be fun to watch – but they can also be very dangerous.
In 2007, an estimated 2,600 children ages 14 and under were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries
involving fireworks during the fireworks season, which runs from the middle of June until the middle of July.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 40 percent of the people injured
by fireworks were under the age of 15.
“Don’t let kids play with fireworks, period,” says Walter Chwals, MD, Director of Rainbow’s Level I
Pediatric Trauma Center. “They’re intended for use by adults in open spaces, with plenty of active
supervision for every child present.”
Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can
permanently impair vision and hearing. “Teach your children what to do if their clothing catches on fire —
‘stop, drop and roll’ — and how to call 911 in an emergency,” says Dr. Chwals.
The only type of fireworks that can be legally purchased and discharged in Ohio are trick and novelty
fireworks. These include items that smoke, sparkle, snap and snake. For those who choose to have a
family fireworks display using these legal fireworks, the State Fire Marshal’s Office encourages people to
follow some important safety tips:
• Handle and discharge trick and novelty devices only under adult supervision.
• Appoint one adult to be in charge. This person should know the hazards of each type of firework
• Carefully read and follow the label d