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Safety first

July 2, 2010

Along most major roads, you’re likely to see tents set up boasting huge selections of fireworks.  They can be fun, but for the amateur pyrotechnician, it can also be extremely dangerous.

“Avoidance is the only protection, and allowing professionals to handle them,” said Robert McNamara, chair of emergency medicine at Temple University.  “Realize that even a small firework can produce life-altering injury.”

In Temple University Hospital’s emergency room, he sees mostly hand


injuries and burns, but other injuries such as eye injuries from burning or solid flying debris or hearing loss can also occur.

“In the rare case, life threatening injuries can be seen from penetrating trauma of the chest and head due to an explosion and essentially the production of shrapnel,” he said.

So while it might be tempting to save money by setting off a backyard fireworks display,  McNamara says it’s best to just leave it to the professionals.


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