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"No matter where your family and friends will be celebrating this Fourth of July, know the risks involved with fireworks," said DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier. "While a national tradition, all parents must remember that fireworks are dangerous and children should be supervised at all times to avoid injuries."
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, the risk of fireworks injury is highest for young people ages 15 to 24. The second-most affected group is children younger than 10.
Firework Safety tips from KidsHealth:
- Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous.
- Buy only legal fireworks (legal fireworks have a label with the manufacturer's name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place.
- Never try to make your own fireworks.
- Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.
- Steer clear of others - fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.
- Don't hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting. Wear some sort of eye protection, and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket - the friction could set them off.
- Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.
- Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.
- Don't allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event. Some may still be ignited and can explode at any time.
- Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can.
- Teach children to "stop, drop and roll" if their clothes catch fire. Make sure they know how to dial 9-1-1, and show them how to extinguish fires by using water or a fire extinguisher.