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Sparklers are still dangerous: How to keep your kids safe on July 4th

Sparklers don't explode, but they can get hot enough to melt some metals.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Common sense might tell you that sparklers are one of the safest fireworks around, mainly because they don't go "boom!" But they were the primary firework responsible for sending young children to the emergency room last Independence Day.

Sparklers can burn up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt some metals, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

While sparklers made up 9% of fireworks-related injuries overall in 2018, according to CPSC, they were responsible for 54% of the injuries suffered by children under age 5.

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Burns were the most common fireworks-related injury last year, with most of those burns suffered to hands and arms.

The simplest piece of advice the CPSC to keep your kids safe is not to let them touch or light off fireworks. Other tips include:

  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. 
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of emergency. If using a sparkler, immediately douse it after use as it can stay hot for several minutes.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Don't try to re-light a fuse if the firework failed to go off.
  • Don't light multiple fireworks at one time.
  • Don't hold fireworks in your hand.

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