Brand SpotlightHealthier Together


Preventing firework injuries this Independence Day

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 10:13:33-04

Fireworks are a fun part of the 4th of July celebrations for many, but they can be dangerous. And not just when it comes to possibly igniting wildfires.

"We see a huge amount of injuries every single year related to fireworks. It's very unfortunate," said Brad Wiggins, registered nurse and nurse manager for the University of Utah Health Burn Center.

Wiggins said this year, he fears it could be worse. "With the COVID this year obviously, that means that a lot of people may be buying local fireworks and doing it themselves."

Wiggins said there are simple things you can do to have a festive and safe holiday celebration. "Light one firework at a time, don’t stack them up on top of different things. Talk to children. Don’t let young children be the ones who are lighting the material."

When it comes to kids and fireworks, the most common Independence Day injury they see at the University of Utah Burn Center comes from kids burning their hands from sparklers. "Most people don’t realize that a sparkler burns at about 2,000 degrees, the same temperature of a blowtorch. Would you hand your 3-year-old a blowtorch?"

Kids can still have fun, while staying safe at the same time. "You could use a glow stick. Kids love glow sticks. You could use a pinwheel out in the could go for silly string and go for those different things," Wiggins said. Anything that will help you avoid giving a small child sparklers is a good thing.

And if you or a child get burned? "First you want to extinguish the burn and you actually want to keep it warm and dry as much as possible, and seek out medical attention if it’s a larger injury," said Wiggins.

For more tips and stories to keep your family health and safe, visit