Fireworks, grilling, bonfire injuries more than triple around July 4th holiday, UNC doctor says

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Friday, July 1, 2022
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Grilling and bonfires lead to many injuries around the holiday but fireworks are the biggest cause behind the surge.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- As you plan Fourth of July celebrations, a warning from doctors at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill as they gear up for a huge surge in patients.

Staff at the UNC Burn Clinic say they see a surge up to four times the amount of daily average of admitted patients around the Fourth of July holiday.

"Last year, we had twenty admissions in one day," explained Dr. Booker King, Chief of the UNC Division of Burn Surgery. "And, just to give you perspective, if we have five or six admissions, that's a busy day. So, twenty is more than triple the regular admissions during this time of the year," King added.

King says grilling and bonfires lead to many injuries around the holiday, but fireworks are the biggest cause behind the surge.

"A classic injury to happen to young children is with sparklers," King explained. "They seem to be very innocent, but the children tend to put those sparklers close to their face, and then get burned to their face or the rest of their skin.

With fireworks, it's always a bad idea to put-say a firecracker in your hand- and you know ignite it and try and let explode. It sounds like, you know, something that you know most people don't want to do, but we see those injuries. And those are not only burn injuries but could be potentially traumatic amputations," King said.

King says to never use fireworks around anything that can be flammable or that could ignite including trees, trash, or paper products, and make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby if you are planning to stay safer.