Guest Editorial - Fired Up About 4th of July Sparklers (6/26/09)

It looks so harmless. So much fun with its colored sparks. But what you may not know is that Fourth of July sparkler in your child's hand is a blazing hot torch. A twelve hundred to two thousand degree torchThis is hot enough to cause severe burns and ignite clothing.

Last year, 16 percent of all fireworks injuries were caused by sparklers, many to children five years and younger.

This Fourth of July, please keep sparklers out of the hands of children under 12.

Here are some basic precautions:

Don't wave sparklers in the air. This energizes sparklers and they burn hotter.

Stand when using a sparkler.

Never hold a child with a lit sparkler.

Don't light one sparkler with another.

Never use more than one sparkler at a time.

Hold a sparkler at arm's length and never near someone's face.

Wear closed-toed shoes.

And always have a bucket of water nearby to place used sparklers.

Please don't let a moment of fun, turn into a permanent injury. Happy Fourth of July, everyone.

I'm Dr. Ganesh Ramachandran, board certified orthopedic surgeon at the Floyd Memorial Orthopedic Group, and that's my...Point of View.