Dangerous New Year Celebrations

(Singing: "Should old acquaints be forgot"...)

When the clock strikes 12 next week, Houstonians will ring in the news year in many different ways. Some will be out partying at bars or clubs, some go to church, others prefer to stay home and celebrate there. Whatever you do... if you're planning to use fireworks experts say be careful, especially if there are children around.

"Over all there are a lot more dangerous things out there than fireworks, but if one doesn't have a careful respect of fireworks then you increase your risk of injuries."

David Robinson is works at the University of Texas Medical School. He's seen his share of fireworks related injuries over the years. Many victims are children and he says in many cases the parents thought the fireworks were safe....for example sparklers.

"Sparklers are notorious for having very high burn rates. its estimated that some of these sparklers can burn at over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and unfortunately these are the ones we give children."

Robinson isn't saying children should never hold sparklers.ξ His advice is for parents to watch them closely . One particularly dangerous firework is the M-80.

"The M-80's that we know about and some of the other types that have an 8th or fraction of dynamite or the equivalent is more than enough to blow off a finger."

He says things can really go bad when adults throw alcohol into the mix. Just like drinking and driving, drinking and playing with fireworks can be very dangerous. Robinson recommends keeping water nearby. It can not only put out a fire, but it can also help cool a burn.

So whether you ring in the new year at a big party or in the backyard by yourself...experts say be very, very careful.

Bill Stamps, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.
Tags: News, Holiday


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