Soon, we will celebrate our nation’s Independence Day with family and friends enjoying delicious barbecue, hot apple pie with ice cream, and of course, fireworks. I used to love lighting fireworks, which we did often growing up in New York until fireworks became prohibited there. Here in Texas, I have learned to admire the spectacle from afar. After all, who could truly emulate the spectacular fireworks done by Disney or Macy’s? Nevertheless, many proud Americans still find it patriotic to make fireworks a part of their Fourth of July festivities.
In the wrong hands, fireworks can be a hazard that may cause permanent damage, especially to the hands’ muscles, bones, and delicate skin. According to the 2014 Fireworks Annual Report published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 10,500 firework-related injuries in 2014 and about 70% of them occurred between June 20th and July 20th. By far, the hands and fingers were the most injured body parts, which accounted for 36% of all firework-related injuries. This means roughly 2,500 injuries: 1,700 burns, 200 lacerations, 300 fractures, and 300 not specified injuries to the hands and fingers. The most common reason for an injury was improper handling of fireworks, such as lighting them in one’s hand, being too close to lit fireworks, or improperly igniting them. Statistically, the number of injuries had not varied significantly in the 15 years before 2014.
If you want to have a personal fireworks display this season, preparation and caution can help reduce the risk of an injury. Here are some guidelines for enjoying fireworks this Independence Day:
If a hand-related accident or injury happens despite all precautions, don’t panic, we can help. Put your hands in ours and schedule an appointment with the Hand Surgery Specialists of Texas.
Have a happy Fourth of July!
Competitive cheerleaders and dance teams perform and compete against one another all year round. In the middle of a competition, a hand injury is the last thing on any of these young, talented athletes’ minds, but one accident can leave them unable to perform for weeks or months. So what are the common risks and how can you prevent them from happening?
Complex stunts and aerial maneuvers put hands and wrists at risk for injury, particularly when an athlete is catching a teammate or performing a complicated move themselves. Wrist and finger sprains, as well as fractures, are all common injuries that can occur when an unstable or hard landing causes the hand to bend or twist into an unnatural position. Wrist fractures are common in dance and cheerleading, especially at the end of the distal radius, the larger bone in the forearm and in the scaphoid bone, one of the small wrist bones which lie beneath the thumb.