A doctor who works in a Des Moines hospital’s emergency room says when a sparkler quits flaming, douse it in a bucket of water and leave it there.Dr. David Thornton, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at Blank Children’s Hospital, says sparklers burn very hot — several hundred degrees. He says the most common 4th of July injury he sees is a child who’s stepped on a sparkler and wound up with a severely burned foot. Thornton says the other common injury they see is a kid who has burned their cornea with the sparks from a sparkler. He says it’s a horribly painful injury.Thornton says no young child should hold a sparkler, and older children should be carefully supervised. Thornton sees some injuries caused by bottle rockets. Thornton says most of the fireworks that are legal in Iowa are mostly low enough in strength that they don’t cause significant injuries. He says homemade fireworks tend to be much stronger, and cause greater injury. He’s treated several cases in recent years in which kids have blown off fingers with a firecracker.Thornton says fireworks aren’t generally safe for anybody. He says no child under the age of 10 should be allowed to light one. Thornton sees a definite spike in emergency room admissions during the holiday weekend. Thornton says most E-R visits over the 4th involve sparklers. He says some of the burns go so deep, skin grafts are required. Some parents may scoff at the notion sparklers are dangerous, but Dr. Thornton says sparklers burn much hotter than the burner on a stove.
You are here: / / This is one celebration you want to throw a bucket of cold water on