Staying safe ahead of the 4th of July

(ABC 6 News) – As people look to spice up their 4th of July this year with fireworks it’s important to take the necessary precautions to avoid injuries.

According to the Minnesota Medical Association, they see way too many kids and adults in the emergency room due to fireworks related injuries, and most of the accidents were preventable.

“What we see are injuries to the hands, fingers, head, face, ears, and eyes,” president of the Minnesota Medical Association Dr. Will Nicholson said.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 11,500 were treated in emergency departments in 2021, nine people died because of injuries.

Dr. Nicholson suggests leaving the fireworks to the professionals.

“We want people to be safe, we want them to have fun, we don’t want their 4th of July to be puncuated by a visit to the emergency room.”

Fireworks are legally allowed for sale in Minnesota and Iowa, but they have distinct differences.

In Minnesota, only non-explosive and non-aerial fireworks are allowed to be sold, where in Iowa, most consumer grade fireworks are permitted.

In both states you have to at least be 18 years old to purchase fireworks.

Tim Bachtly has been selling fireworks in Rochester for 22 years, and despite them being non-explosive, he urged the public to be careful with them as they can still cause harm.

“There’s no reason why you should be within 10 feet of any of these sparklers or these fountains because it can spray in a 10-foot diameter on some of these fountains.”

If you do plan to set off any fireworks for the 4th of July, it’s important to keep them out of the hands of children.

Bachtly also suggested after you set them off to hose them down with water or let them cool off before disposing of them.