Butler County agencies on alert for fireworks related injuries

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email
WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19)- An estimated 7,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks related injuries in 2008, nearly 25 percent of those were children.
"Despite as many warnings as we can put out, we always see several every year," said Dr. Marcus Romanello of West Chester Medical Center.
Physicians at West Chester Medical Center haven't seen any injuries so far this season, but once the holiday weekend hits, they expect that to change.
"The fireworks burns at extremely high temperatures and the burns are often quite deep and severe when they are present, upwards of third degree sometimes, and even requiring skin graphs in some rare occasions," Romanello said.
The West Chester fire department is also on alert to make sure the celebrations are safe, Captain Scott Brooks says fireworks are illegal in the state of Ohio aside from professional shows, but even with parent supervision novelty fireworks that are legal can still put children at risk children at risk.
"Sparklers can reach temperatures of 1800 degrees, so the injuries that you can get from them, is not worth having a child play with them," Brooks said.
And doctors say the injuries most often occur literally in your own backyard.
"I know it's exciting to let off fireworks in a backyard, but that's were most all of the injuries occur is in your own house," Romanello said.
First time offenders caught setting off fireworks face a $1,000 fine, and could even face six months behind bars.
Tips from the State Fire Marshal:
• 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 being used.

• Carefully read and follow the label directions on the trick and novelty device packaging.

• Light only one sparkler at a time and hold it away from your body and others.

• Sparkler wires, which can burn up to 1800 degrees, should immediately be placed in a

bucket of water to avoid injury as they remain hot for a few minutes after burnout.

• If someone gets burned, run cool water over the wound for two or three minutes and seek

medical attention when necessary.

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