Do Sparklers Offer a Safe Fourth of July Option?


June 29, 2013

Many kids press their parents for fireworks that they can use during the Fourth of July.  These discussions often turn to fireworks that many consider relatively low risk as a compromise position.  Sparklers constitute a form of firework that many parents agree to allow their children to enjoy.  However, a Good Morning America report provides a reminder that even this less intimidating form of firework can still cause serious injuries to kids.

A recent Good Morning America report included the tragic story of six-year-old Maddi de la Cruz who suffered severe burns to her foot when a sparkler ignited at a Fourth of July party.  Most of the skin on her foot was burned away necessitating skin grafts to repair the damage.

Maddi’s story is not an atypical incident because sparklers are not nearly as harmless as many parents presume.  Independence Day accounts for seventy percent of all firework-related injury, with sixteen percent of those firework injuries being caused by sparklers according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).  In other words, these fireworks that many parents believe are safe account for more injuries than rockets according to the CPSC.  In fact, the only form of firework that causes a higher percentage of injuries than sparklers are firecrackers, which are responsible for nineteen percent of all firework injuries.

What many parents do not realize is that the temperature of a sparkler when it is at its upper range is between 1,200 and 2,000 degrees according to Patty Davis, a spokesman from the CPSC.  To put this danger in perspective, some metals melt at these temperatures according to Davis.  Some equate giving a child a sparkler to being akin to giving a child a soldering gun because they burn at comparable temperatures.  When a child holds a sparkler, it's akin to allowing a child to hold a 1,200 degree strip of metal.

Many safety organizations, such as the National Fire Protection Association, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Burn Association encourage consumers to attend professional firework displays and avoid consumer fireworks.  However, the pyrotechnic industry has remained undeterred according to the Good Morning America report.  The sale of consumer fireworks doubled during a recent two-year period from just over 100 million pounds to over 200 million pounds based on information provided by a pyrotechnics industry source cited in the article.

The CPSC reports that there are approximately 9,600 pyrotechnic injuries annually with about 1,100 of these incidents involving sparklers.  Over fifty percent of those who are injured by sparklers and other fireworks are kids according to the safety agency.  Our Georgia personal injury attorneys encourage parents to keep fireworks away from their children to avoid injury.

If your child is burned or suffers other firework-related injuries, the manufacturer of the firework or the person who furnished the firework or provided inadequate supervision might be liable for resulting injuries.  Our experienced Georgia personal injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).  You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Personal Injury

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