Every year at this time, staff members in The Burnett Burn Center at The University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., prepare for the worst, hoping their services won’t be needed. Unfortunately, their fears usually come true.
“July 3-7 is the time we see all kinds of serious burns from fireworks in both children and adults,” said Kayla Northrop, a burn education nurse on the unit. “We always have extra members of the burn team staffing a special area of the emergency department just to handle the different types of burn and explosive injuries we usually treat.”
Northrop said the most common injuries are to the hands and fingers, and even to the face, when people bend over to check on unexploded fireworks. People have lost fingers and hands, and even their eyesight from fireworks blasts. Most of the injures are painful, and can require months of treatment in the burn unit.
“There’s no such thing as safe fireworks,” Northrop said. “It’s best to leave it to the professionals.”