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Independence Day Can Bring Burn Risks

Independence Day Can Bring Burn Risks

JACKSON, Miss., June 30, 2021 – As pandemic restrictions are lifted, and the country eases back into large gatherings and social events, Dr. Derek M. Culnan, Interim Medical Director of the Joseph M. Still  Burn and Reconstructive Center at Merit Health Central in Jackson, MS, wants to wish everyone a safe, friends-and-family-filled Fourth of July weekend.

“It’s the start of summer and, before we head outside for the holiday weekend, I would like to remind everyone to wear sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses during the day to help prevent severe sunburns and sun poisoning,” said Dr. Culnan. “And when the sun goes down, remember to avoid excessive alcohol consumption while handling fireworks or grilling, especially if children are present.”

Every Fourth of July, hospitals and clinics across the country see a rise in patients with firework related injuries, a majority of whom are children and teenagers. The mishandling or misuse of fireworks, along with improperly discarded hot debris, are among the most common hazards when it comes to burn injuries to the hands, legs, or head.

When handling fireworks remember to:

  • Set up the firework on a flat surface to reduce the risk of tipping over.

  • Educate children on proper firework etiquette: Don’t get too close and don’t touch.

  • Closely monitor children when they have sparklers.

  • Avoid re-lighting, leaning over, or picking up a “dud.” The firework is still live and has the potential to detonate.

“Hot firework debris can be just as injurious as active fireworks,” he said. “When children are done with sparklers, make sure to place the hot metal sticks in a bucket of sand or water. The same goes for all other firework debris that may end up on the ground for people to step on.”

About Merit Health

Merit Health serves the healthcare needs of residents of Mississippi through its 9 affiliated hospitals. The healthcare system offers a wide array of services including orthopedics, cardiology, women’s health, emergency departments and broad diagnostic medical and surgical services. The network has more than 1,800 licensed beds, more than 2,500 physicians on the combined active medical staffs, more than 3,000 employees, and more than 40,000 admissions and more than 250,000 emergency department visits each year.

About Burn & Reconstructive Centers of America

Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America is the largest network of burn care in the United States with 16 locations in 9 states. Each year, our centers treat more than 20 percent of the nation’s burn patients. For more information, visit our website at or visit our social media accounts on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Source: My Merit Health

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