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Good Samaritan Hospital gives fireworks safety tips

Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 5:01 p.m. CDT

DOWNERS GROVE – Good Samaritan Hospital reminded Fourth of July revelers that while fireworks are a big part of the holiday, they are also send a handful of people to the Downers Grove hospital's ER every July.

About 9,000 people are injured or killed each year from fireworks, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Approximately 75 percent of those accidents occur in the four weeks surrounding Independence Day, and most are entirely preventable, according to the hospital.

“Our emergency department sees about three to five patients with fireworks-related injuries each day surrounding the July 4th holiday,” said Dr. Stephen Crouch, emergency medicine physician at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, in a press release.

The most common burns Crouch sees are related to sparklers, but it’s also common for him to treat hand injuries from people holding fireworks that explode before they expected.

Crouch offered the following tips for what to do if someone is injured from fireworks:

• Call 911 or go immediately to the doctor or emergency room.

• In case of eye injury, do not touch or rub the eye; it can cause even more damage.

• Do not flush the eye with water or attempt to put any type of ointment in the eye. Protect the eye by covering it without applying direct pressure.

• In the emergency department, a hard metal eye shield is typically applied; at home, even a piece of cardboard would work.

• In case of a burn, remove the item causing the burn and remove clothing from the burned area. Run cool water over the burn or apply a cool, wet cloth. Do not use ice, seek medical attention.

“Enjoy the Fourth safely,” Crouch said in a press release. “Leave the fireworks to the professionals.”

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