Health experts warn of dangers of personal fireworks

3 months 15 hours 19 minutes ago Wednesday, July 01 2020 Jul 1, 2020 Wednesday, July 01, 2020 4:44:00 PM CDT July 01, 2020 in News
By: Kevin Broshek, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA -— With COVID-19 limiting public firework displays this Fourth of July, health experts are warning people of the dangers of using fireworks at home.

The general recommendation from a medical standpoint is not to use personal fireworks, Dr. Stephen Colbert, a plastic surgeon at MU Health said. 

Colbert said he's operated on many patients who've faced fireworks accidents.

"We’d rather have people see professional displays,” said Colbert said.

This year, though, with Columbia’s “Fire in the Sky” event closed to the public, there are some worries that people will be using more personal fireworks.

Colbert explained that while he can’t stop everyone from lighting up their own fireworks, he can offer some advice as a medical professional.

“Generally what happens is the firework is in the hand when it goes off and it really shouldn't be there in the hand,” he said. “Just be careful. Our basic advice is to be careful and use things properly.”

Gale Blomenkamp, bureau director of Boone County Fire Protection District, explained some of the common injuries seen from fireworks accidents, and urges people to be careful while celebrating the holiday.

“Typically what we see are just soft burns and minor tissue type injuries," he said. "So the biggest thing that people need to do is read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions on that specific firework.”

Columbia’s “Fire in the Sky” fireworks display will be closed to the public, but the display will still take place at Cosmo-Bethel Park, a location that will “facilitate a safe fall-out zone so that the fireworks show reaches a height that is visible to as many residential homes in Columbia as possible,” according to the City of Columbia.

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