Doctors Urge Caution When Using Fireworks

Updated: 06/30/2014 9:40 PM
Created: 06/30/2014 3:14 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

There's nothing like a sky full of fireworks on the Fourth of July, but the fun can be cut short if you're not careful.

"No firework is safe," St. Luke's Emergency Physician Nick Van Deelen said. "We do see firework-related injuries, most of those are burns."

Van Deelen said injuries to eyes and hands are also common. He said when fireworks shoot into the air it can get even more dangerous. Van Deelen said they can even cause death.

"They are large, essentially mortars being fired out of tubes," Van Deelen said.

"I can understand why Minnesota has those kind of laws," Rolf Fure said.

Fure is the Senior Pastor of the Duluth Gospel Tabernacle and he's running the fireworks shops in the Cub Foods and Wal-Mart parking lots.

"All the stuff that is legal in Minnesota we sell here," Fure said. "It's all stuff you light and there's a fountain of light and sparks."

At Fure's shops, you get even more bang for your buck.

"We're selling fireworks to raise money for Liberia," Fure said. "We are doing a medical mission trip there in February 2015."

Fure recommends following the directions when using fireworks. Van Deelen said even sparklers can be dangerous.

"They look benign," Van Deelen said. "They're kind of fun to see kids running around with, but they do cause injuries because they burn so hot."

Van Deelen said he still wants folks to have fun. His suggestion was leaving the fireworks to the professionals.

"You're likely to see something a whole lot better and there's little risk to you," Van Deelen said.

The Duluth Fire Department said fire calls do increase on the Fourth of July. They said a majority of injuries involve airborne fireworks, but the legal fireworks in Minnesota account for 34 percent of injuries nationwide.

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