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Officials stressing safety as firework injuries rise 25% over past 15 years

At least 75% of injuries happen in the two weeks leading up to and the two weeks after the Fourth of July.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Health experts are saying at-home firework displays are not the safest option for families this year.

A new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that over the past 15 years there's been a significant upward trend in firework related injuries.

The report found that between 2006 and 2021, injuries with fireworks climbed 25% in the U.S.

Last year nine people died due to firework misuse and that's why health experts encourage families to watch a professional fireworks display rather than do their own at home.

"This is actually a really important time to talk about it because we have had at least 75% of injuries happen in the two weeks leading up to and the two weeks after the Fourth of July," said Alex Hoehn-Saric, chairman of the Consumer Safety Product Commission.

MORE | Read the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's study

Last year an estimated 11,500 were injured in incidents involving fireworks.

Young adults from 20 to 24 had the highest estimated rate of ER visits but they aren't the only age group getting burned.

"We know upwards of around 39 to 40 percent of folks injured in that presentation to the emergency department are those under 15 years of age," said  Dr. James Dodington of Yale Newhaven Injury Prevention. "Those are usually burns to the face, to the hands and eye injuries."

When you're posing for that Instagram pic with a sparkler remember these can lead to serious burns, too.

"Sparklers can be quite dangerous even for school aged children sparklers," said Dr. Dodington. "They burn at over 2000 degrees farenheit."

There were at least 1,100 ER visits in 2021 involving sparklers according to the report.

"If you wouldn't give your child a blow torch to run around with in your yard, you really shouldn't give them a firecracker or sparkler to run around with," says Hoehn-Saric.

Remember if your fireworks turn out to be a dud, do not try to relight them or even pick them up.

"Way too many folks that we've seen getting injured, ya know blowing up in their face or blowing up in their hand because they thought a firecracker was a dud and they picked it up it went off," says Hoehn-Saric.

So to avoid your Fourth of July display from blowing up in your face keep a water source nearby, light fireworks one at a time and walk away quickly after igniting them.

Don't point or throw fireworks at anyone, ever and make sure you're not buying illegal fireworks.

"The fuse can burn really really quickly or there's a larger charge than people anticipate which could mean something can go off immediately when you light it in a bigger bang than you expect which can lead to burns concussions or even death," Hoehn-Saric said.

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An example of how to properly put out your fireworks is pouring the water directly onto the firework or dipping a sparkler into a bucket of water.

Even if you're going to a professional display health experts recommend children be at least 500 feet away with ear plugs to protect their ears.

Don't go out with the wrong kind of bang because an ER visit shouldn't be a part of your celebration.

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