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Fireworks can spark danger; leave them to the pros this July 4th

LITTLE ROCK — Little do parents know, the sparklers they could be handing their child to play with during Fourth of July festivities could create a flame that could feed a dangerous fire. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) treats children each year surrounding Independence Day from preventable burns caused by fireworks.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) wants families to be safe this holiday and is offering tips for protecting kids and parents alike from injuries associated with fireworks. Each year, thousands suffer from the effects of fireworks, and the Burn Center at ACH is working to decrease the number of burn victims.

Amber Files, outreach coordinator for the Burn Center, encourages families to take in a public firework display rather than conducting an at-home show. Consumer fireworks such as sparklers reach 1,200 to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, Files explained, which can lead to second or even third-degree burns.

In the event of a fire, Files has some tips for families:

  • Children should stop, drop and roll if clothing catches on fire.
  • Cool water should be used to extinguish the fire and it should be poured over the burn one minute for children and five minutes for adults.
  • For burns larger than the size of a quarter, call 911.
  • Do not place ice on affected areas; this can deepen the burn and cause a decrease in body temperature.
  • Remove any clothing that flames have come into contact with. Wrap the child in a clean, dry blanket to keep them warm until help arrives.
  • Children ages 5 to 14 are burned from fireworks most often on their hands, eyes and face.
  • Victims should seek help for burns on joints and extremities.
  • Do not treat burns at home. Seek the advice of a medical professional immediately.

“People don’t realize how costly a burn injury is,” Files said, “not only to the family, to the hospital, to the provider; it is one of the most painful injuries that you can have.”

Arkansas Children’s Hospital has the only burn center in the state and treats patients ranging from infants to adults.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas and one of the largest in the United States serving children from birth to age 21. Over the past century, ACH has grown to span 29 city blocks and house 370 beds, a staff of approximately 500 physicians, 80 residents in pediatrics and pediatric specialties and more than 4,000 employees. The private, nonprofit healthcare facility boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking medical research - all dedicated to fulfilling our mission of enhancing, sustaining and restoring children’s health and development. For more information, visit www.archildrens.org.