Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Safety July 4th Fireworks Can Be Poisonous if Handled or Accidentally Swallowed by Pets + Kids


Fireworks have traditionally been synonymous with the 4th of July. While just about everyone agrees they are usually pretty beautiful, most of us know they can also be downright dangerous if not used with the proper level of caution.

MommyBlogExpert Original Video

Here's something I wasn't aware of, and that you might not know either. Simply handling unlit fireworks can present danger because -- though the majority of fireworks exposures are not poisonous -- chemically, firecrackers and other pyrotechnics can potentially consist of toxic potassium nitrate or perchlorate, sulfur or chlorine, carbon, starch and metals (that produce the colorful effects).

Chinese firecracker assortment, Image provided by CPCS
This holiday season the California Poison Control System (CPCS) warns parents to keep fireworks away from children and pets who may accidentally ingest them because they are often small and come in colorful packages. 

I'd add that, unlike edible food items, ingredients of fireworks don't have be listed on product labels by law and it's best to err on the side of caution because you can never be quite sure if the fireworks you're using were manufactured with unsafe toxic materials. Also, keep in mind that even if they don't put the actual object in their mouth or eat them, unignited fireworks can be hazardous if a kid simply touches them because unwashed hands often end up in or near their mouth and they might ingest poisonous residue without either of you realizing it.

Firework novelties in a kinds of shapes and sizes,
“While traumatic injuries involving the hands, face and eyes during 4th of July celebrations are well-documented, toxicity due to fireworks is less common but can also result in illness or death,” says Dr. Stuart Heard, Pharm.D, Executive Director, CPCS.  “For example, some kids mistake ‘snake’ fireworks for gum.”

The statistics are alarming. In 2009, poison centers across the country received more than 1,000 calls about exposures to fireworks and explosives. Of those, more than 750 involved children younger than six years old. 

“If you suspect that your child or pet ingested fireworks, immediate medical attention is needed,” Dr. Heard advises parents and caregivers. 

Most importantly of all, follow all of these CPCS Safety Tips when enjoying backyard fireworks with your family, kids and friends.

Hen Laying Egg Firecracker is cute but could be toxic,

What to Do in Case of Poisoning

In case of an accidental poisoning, consumers should immediately call 1-800-222-1222 (same number is good in all 50 states) for advice. Pharmacists, nurses, physician-toxicologists and poison information providers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help. In most cases, poison exposure can be safely managed in your home, avoiding a call to 911 or a visit to a crowded hospital emergency room. Many parents think about contacting the poison control services only in case of an emergency, but experts are available to answer questions any time.

Image from CalPoison.Org

About California Poison Control System (CPCS)
As a non-profit CPCS offers a range of information and free resources. Learn more about the various poison issues by following CPCS on Facebook and on Twitter.  Sign up for weekly safety text messages to your cell phone by texting TIPS to 69866. You are also invited to download a free iPhone and Android app, Choose Your Poison published by the University of California San Francisco.  

Please Leave a Comment And Share
What other ideas do you have about this important topic? Have you ever been involved with a fireworks poison incident or know someone who has? Feel free to leave a comment and tell us.

Have a Safe, Happy July 4th!

Enjoy the show, Image provided by CPCS
FTC Disclosure: The content for this post and some of the images here were sourced from CPCS. MommyBlogExpert is sharing this safety information as a public service, however in the event of any questions or an accident readers should contact 911 or the fireworks poison control experts at CPCS for advice and emergency assistance. No compensation or payment was exchanged in association with this post. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.

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