Thousands injured by fireworks each year - - Jackson, MS

Thousands injured by fireworks each year

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A variety of colorful and toy-like looking fireworks are on sale, but the miniature sparkling explosives are far from playful.

Jim Pollard from the American Response Medical paramedics blew up a M-150 firework in a tomato to represent what happens when an firework explodes in your eye. Pollard said eye injuries make up about 40 percent of firework accidents.

"The firework itself has a lot of debris that's blasted out at high speed and that can get embedded in the eye," Pollard said.

Fingers and hands are also commonly hurt during mishaps. Overall, the U.S. Fire Administration reports 11,000 people end up in the emergency room annually after a firework accident.

"For every one of those 11,000 injuries there are hundreds that might not require hospitalization and emergency room visits, but they're still pretty darn painful," Pollard said.

To protect your eyes, Pollard recommends wearing goggles if you decide to light fireworks. As harmless as a sparkler is, it can get up to 2,000 degrees, which is as hot as a blow torch.

"They stay hot for awhile after they're burned out they can inflict some pretty nasty burns," Pollard said.

Nearly half of fireworks accidents involve victims 15 years old and under.

"So an iron clad rule just don't let little kids and even on up into the mid teens use fireworks they just don't understand the danger," Pollard said.

Pollard said the best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a professional show.

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