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US Independence Day 2019: How to Prevent Health Problems from Fireworks?

As fireworks use will kick into high gear on July 4, US Independence Day, experts warn people about health problems from fireworks.

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In just a matter of few seconds, fireworks can greatly affect your fun and more importantly, your health. Many people might have started stocking up fireworks to celebrate the 4th July holiday on the occasion of Independence Day.

Considering the potential health problems associated with fireworks, health experts offer safety tips to prevent such problems this Independence Day.

The leaders of the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance and medical experts at Amita Health Medical Group have discussed the potential hazards of fireworks on children, pets and veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Dr. Reinhold Llerena, the Chief Medical Officer at the Amita Health Medical Group, said, “Kids should never handle fireworks. Kids don’t understand consequences or the risks of fireworks.”

He explained that brushing up against a sparkler can fire up clothes and cause burns, which could leave victims with both physical as well as mental trauma.

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Phil Zaleski of the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance said, “Imagine being a 7, 8 or 9-year-old child on a day like today where it’s hot out and you want to go to the pool and there’s a boy that has scarring on his chest or stomach or arms and is embarrassed by that.”

In Illinois, purchasing fireworks is banned. However, experts explained that they have seen an increase in firework injuries in states that have legalized purchasing fireworks. In 2018, five deaths were reported from firework injuries, including two in Iowa and Indiana.

The experts also explained that the explosive sounds of fireworks could trigger PTSD in veterans.

Dr. Patrick McGrath, a PTSD expert, said, “Though we might all feel that it could be a patriotic experience that we think we’re doing, we’re actually potentially causing some harm psychologically to the people that we’re trying to honor.” Firework explosions and loud noises can also scare pets, especially dogs. So, veterinarians recommend keeping them indoors. Veterinarian Dr. Joseph Lupo said, “About 1 in 3 dogs have severe noise reactivity, which makes significant stress internalize into them.”

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