ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – It’s the day that we as a nation celebrate our independence and while many of us will see a weekend of barbeques, outdoor fun and fireworks others might be seeing the emergency room.
18 News spoke to a medical professional to find out how to stay safe this independence day weekend.
Dr. Jeremy Lux, the director and chair of emergency medicine at Arnot Health, stresses getting out of harms way with fireworks gone wrong. He said you should remove yourself from the path of fireworks with any sort of repeated firing capability.
“When it comes to any kind of firework explosion any kind of fire injury, first and foremost is removing yourself from any potential safety concerns in the immediate vicinity,” said Lux. “Now the second part is if you have a burned area on your body is cooling it off. That doesn’t mean ice that just means cool water.”
In addition, he said if you have any clothes smoldering or on fire to remove those as well. Any injury to the eye or face should be seen by a physician according to the doctor.
Dr. Lux also emphasizes the importance of safety practices.
“Most of the injuries are preventable,” said Lux. “One of the classic ones are just people lighting fire-crackers in their hands. They didn’t know maybe the wick a little bit shorter and it goes off in their hand or when they’re throwing it. The other way is say things like bottle-rockets that aren’t secured properly.”
The doctor says injury prevention is more important than treatment most of the time.
Although fireworks and a cold beer might be the ideal way to spend the Fourth of July, but this can lead to a dangerous situation.
Dr. Lux said alcohol can impair the decision-making process. Plus combined with fireworks could cause risky behavior.
“Alcohol in general lowers one’s inhibitions and there’s a lot more risk-taking behavior,” said Lux. “And that’s where a lot of those explosions in people’s hands occur or something that sounds like a good idea at the time ends up not being a good idea. People even having fireworks battle against each other.”
He said safety and sobriety go hand in hand and that applies to using fireworks while not under the influence. This can save you from a visit to the doctors this Fourth of July weekend.