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CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: FOLLOW FIREWORKS SAFETY TIPS FOR A SAFE FOURTH OF JULY

 CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: FOLLOW FIREWORKS SAFETY TIPS
 FOR A SAFE FOURTH OF JULY
 SEATTLE, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Children's Hospital and Medical Center in Seattle, the Seattle Poison Center and the Washington chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics urge parents and others to heed fireworks bans this Fourth of July holiday to prevent injuries and fires, Children's Hospital said today. Parents also are urged to be good role models to their children by reinforcing with them the importance of fireworks purchasing and use prohibitions and not flaunting those restrictions themselves.
 However, the organizations realize that many people will choose to use fireworks, legally or not, to celebrate Independence Day. Here are some safety tips to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Fourth:
 -- One of the safest ways to take in the color and noise of the national celebration is to watch one of the numerous free public fireworks displays.
 -- Parents should supervise all fireworks activities. Fireworks are not toys. Keep children away from lit and unlit fireworks.
 -- Always read instructions carefully. Improper use of fireworks can cause injuries such as burns, abrasions and lacerations.
 -- Have a bucket of water, hose or a fire extinguisher nearby.
 -- Never approach or try to re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks. Pour water over them to soak and then throw them away.
 -- Use fireworks outdoors only, preferably in an open area away from homes and burnable materials such as dry vegetation.
 -- Light only one firework at a time.
 -- Never give fireworks, including sparklers, to young children. Ignited sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit at the tip. They should always be held at arm's length. Extinguish them in a bucket of water after use. Sparklers are the leading cause of fireworks injuries to children. They should never be used by children under age 3.
 -- Never shoot fireworks in or from a metal or glass container.
 -- Never use illegal or unlabeled fireworks, which are responsible for most of the serious fireworks injuries. Among illegal fireworks are M-80s, M-100s, bottle rockets, silver salutes, cherry bombs and "quarter-sticks." Class C Common Fireworks generally are approved for sale by federal and local governments, however, regulations do vary in different jurisdictions. Check with your local fire department to find out which fireworks are illegal in your area. Fire officials say you can assume that all fireworks offered for sale at licensed stands are legal for use.
 -- Never try to make fireworks from kits. Mixing chemical powders can be dangerous.
 -- Fireworks can frighten children and animals. Take young children inside if they are uncomfortable or become frightened. Keep pets in a dark, quiet room during fireworks displays.
 -- Home fireworks displays are usually begun after most young children's bedtimes. Children who stay up may be overtired and excitable, so it's important that adults know where children are at all times.
 -- Some fireworks contain toxic chemicals. If an exposure occurs, call your local poison center.
 According to the state Fire Protection Services, 275 persons were treated for fireworks-related injuries at 85 hospitals throughout Washington last year. Burns accounted for 78 percent of injuries, and the greatest number of injuries occurred to children ages six to 11. Most injuries occurred to the eyes, hands, fingers and face. Among legal fireworks, "jumping jacks" accounted for most injuries (22 percent). Among Class C fireworks not legal for sale in Washington, most injuries were attributed to "bottle rockets" (41 percent). More than 600 fires caused by fireworks resulted in almost $2.25 million in losses.
 In Seattle, 36 persons ages four to 43 were injured by fireworks last year, according to the city Fire Marshall Office's survey of eight hospitals. Most were injured while using illegal fireworks. Fireworks-related fires totalled 135 and caused $126,435 in damages.
 -0- 6/26/92
 /CONTACT: Dean Forbes of Children's Hospital and Medical Center, 206-368-4817/ CO: Children's Hospital and Medical Center; Seattle Poison Center;
 American Academy of Pediatrics ST: Washington IN: SU:


SC-JH -- SE003 -- 4206 06/26/92 12:00 EDT
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Date:Jun 26, 1992
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