STUART, Fla. - Today is a day to celebrate out independence and for a lot of us that means enjoying fireworks.
But more than any other day, on July 4th emergency rooms are filled with patients suffering from severe burns when fireworks aren't used safely.
The emergency room director for Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center says out of 1,300 reported burn cases, 94% take place on this holiday.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a public display. There will be a fireworks show in downtown Stuart at 9 p.m. You can find a list of other fireworks displays here: http://bit.ly/1rsP8tI
The only types of fireworks that are legal in Florida are sparklers, fountains or snakes. Firecrackers, torpedoes and anything that explodes or rockets into the air are all illegal.
"The number one cause of injury is lack of adult supervision and lack of sober adult supervision. Kids are playing with sparklers, they think someone was watching them but parents get distracted," said Dr. Scott McFarland, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Palm Beach a Gardens Medical Center.
Here are some safety tips:
- don't use fireworks, other than sparklers, that you have to hold in your hand.
- wear face protection
- avoid loose clothing
- use on sand or concrete surface. Stay away from areas with brush or trash nearby.
The penalty for illegal fireworks is a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail.