How to stay safe while setting off your own fireworks this 4th of July

Berkeley County News

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCBD) – Many people will be enjoying the 4th of July holiday by setting off their own fireworks with many local events canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Local medical experts are encouraging you to be smart and safe while shooting off your own fireworks on Saturday.

“It’s slow, but the day of is usually pretty good, it should be this year, too,” said Joey Zilker.

Zilker sells fireworks on Goose Creek and said safety is important. “You can’t smoke within 300 feet of the firecracker stand, that’s just common sense, actually,” he remarked.

Many people hold Roman Candles while they are lit. Zilker said his fireworks always have ways to be enjoyed without holding them.

“[Get] A thing that you can put into the ground where you don’t have to hold it. I recommend you don’t hold any fireworks,” he said.

MUSC’s Chief of Burn Surgery, Dr. Steven Kahn, said they expect to be very busy this weekend.

“Some of the highest frequency of injury we see is on the Fourth of July; that’s probably our busiest day,” said Dr. Kahn.

It is an extremely serious issue.

“Every year, I see multiple people who lose fingers, hands, and eyes,” he said

So, take steps to stay safe.

“Have someone who’s sober shooting off the fireworks. It should be a responsible adult; I call it a designated shooter like a designated driver. People should always use eye protection, keep observers far away, shoot fireworks off on a flat surface and make sure there are no leaves around and keep water nearby.”

Dr. Kahn says remember the four Cs of burns.

“The first ‘C’ is cool, that’s run it under cool running water. The second ‘C’ is clean. Clean it with a gentle soap and water after you run it under cool water for a few minutes. The third ‘C’ is cover. Cover it with nonstick dressing or bandage and the fourth is call. Call your doctor or call 911.”

Do not put ice on a burn. And a rule of thumb is if your injury is bigger than the palm of your hand, seek medical attention.

MUSC just opened its comprehensive burn center about a month ago here in Charleston. Up until then, you had to travel to Augusta or Winston Salem for burn care.

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