KANSAS (KSNT) – With the Fourth of July on Monday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is warning of the potential injuries that can come from fireworks.

In Kansas, there were at least 210 firework-related injuries that resulted in emergency department visits last year. This was an 18% increase from 2020. Children 12-years-old and younger represented about 35% of these injuries.

“There is no such thing as a ‘safe’ firework for children,” Cherie Sage of Safe Kids Kansas said. “Even sparklers, which are commonly given to children, burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass and can cause serious burns and eye injuries. A better idea is to give children glow sticks and watch fireworks from a safe distance.”

Almost 30% of these injuries were to the eyes, head and neck. Another 30% of injuries were to people’s hands. Feet and legs were attributed to 11% of injuries.

KDHE provided tips to ensure safe firework usage:

  • Have adults supervise around grills and fireworks
  • Designate a child-free safety zone around grills and areas where fireworks are being lit
  • Have a water supply ready
  • Have a first-aid kit available and nearby
  • Only ignite fireworks outdoors
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Never try to reignite malfunctioning fireworks
  • Never attempt to make your own fireworks
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
  • Dispose of used fireworks carefully, as they may reignite.

The KDHE is also reminding Kansans that bottle rockets are illegal and M80 type fireworks are considered explosives. Possession, manufacture or use of these M80s is considered a felony.

Out of respect for veterans, KDHE also says to keep in mind the noise and stress the fireworks may cause near VA facilities.

For more information, visit firemarshal.ks.gov/216/Fireworks-Safety or SafeKidsKansas.org