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Would you let your kids handle a blowtorch?

Consumer Reports News: June 28, 2011 09:31 AM

If the idea of letting your children play with a blowtorch is absurd, then letting them handle fireworks and sparklers should be too. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission chairman Inez Tenenbaum, sparklers burn at the same temperature as blowtorches: 2,000 degrees.

In a timeframe as narrow as the 30 days surrounding July 4th, 2010, the CPSC reports that fireworks caused 1,900 injuries that sent consumers to the ER. Moreover, in this month-long span, 6,300 injuries were reported involving fireworks, including lacerations and burns to the hands, face and head.

With Independence Day around the corner, we want to remind everyone of the CPSC’s important fireworks safety steps:

- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that they were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities.
- Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
- Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
- After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
- Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.

Molly Glauberman

   

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