Posted in 4th of July, Covid-19, Health, news

Avoid Using Hand Sanitizer Near Fireworks This Weekend

The most sparkly and spectacular holiday of the year is unfortunately one of the most dangerous when it comes to fireworks.  As more Americans shoot off fireworks themselves, injuries are rising exponentially. 

Combine that with our religious use of hand sanitizer during this COVID pandemic and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Hand sanitizer may have anywhere from 60-95% alcohol base, hence can be extremely flammable. Moreover if it sits as residue on one’s hands, it’s presence may be forgotten.

Hence health officials are urging to use soap and water for hand washing if you plan on engaging in any firework activities.

The City of Greensboro, NC Fire Department warned followers on facebook to avoid the dangerous mix of fireworks and sanitizer.

But this isn’t the only drama that surrounds 4th of July festivities.

Let’s break this down.

When were fireworks first invented?

Many historians believe fireworks have their origins dating back to 200 BC in China.

According to History.com, They would roast bamboo, which explodes with a bang when heated due to its hollow air pockets, in order to ward off evil spirits. At some point between 600 and 900 A.D., Chinese alchemists—perhaps hoping to discover an elixir for immortality—mixed together saltpeter (potassium nitrate, then a common kitchen seasoning), charcoal, sulfur and other ingredients, unwittingly yielding an early form of gunpowder. The Chinese began stuffing the volatile substance into bamboo shoots that were then thrown into the fire to produce a loud blast. The first fireworks were born.

When were fireworks first used to celebrate Independence Day?

On July 3, 1776, John Adams penned a letter to his wife suggesting fireworks, “illuminations” be used to celebrate the upcoming Independence Day (the next day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence).  The following year, fireworks were used in Philadelphia’s celebration of Independence Day along with a parade.

What types of fireworks are legal/illegal?

Currently, Massachusetts is the only state that bans any individual from owning or setting off fireworks.  As for the other states, laws vary.  For most states, party poppers, smokers, hand-held sparklers, wheel and ground spinners and those approved by the CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commission) are approved.  Illegal fireworks most commonly include rockets, Roman Candles, wire and wooden sparklers, projectile fireworks, those using  arsenic, phosphorus, thiocyanates, and gunpowder.

Each state’s laws can be viewed here.

How many people get injured each year during Fourth of July?

Statistics vary but according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) :

  • Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2017, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 54% of those injuries were to the extremities and 36% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2017 injuries.

Which fireworks appear to be the most dangerous?

Many fireworks range in potential for injury, and fire hazards appear to be the most worrisome. However, sparklers appear to be the culprit in the majority of cases sending kids and adults to the emergency room.

What types of injuries can be incurred from fireworks?

Keep in mind some sparklers can reach up to 2000 degrees.  Not only is direct contact with fireworks dangerous but secondary injuries may occur trying to avoid the firework.  These include:

  • Burns
  • Eye injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Hearing Loss
  • Lacerations
  • Broken Bones
  • Sprains
  • Car accidents

Burns comprise the majority of injuries, however many other tragic ones can occur.  One of my in-laws was a bystander when he lost his cornea (outer layer of the eye) from a popper that jumped towards his face, blinding him.

pic0.jpg

How can we protect ourselves from firework injuries?

  • Avoid purchasing and using illegal fireworks.
  • Do not allow young children to handle the fireworks.
  • Use neighborhood areas that are not in the flow of traffic.
  • Have buckets of water and fire extinguishers nearby.
  • Have bystanders back up and remember that they can be in the line of danger as those handling the fireworks.
  • Never relight a firework.
  • Dispose of fireworks only after thoroughly doused with water by a bucket or hose.
  • Don’t carry fireworks in pockets.
  • Don’t shoot fireworks out of metal or glass casings.
  • Opt for watching professional fireworks shows.  They are true fireworks, created by pros, and much more spectacular and beautiful than what we can do on our own.

Happy 4th of July!!

Las-Vegas-Fireworks.jpg
IMAGE FROM MENU OF MUSINGS
spanish book

Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in 4th of July, Employment, Health, news, Politics

Gov. Cuomo Cuts COVID Health Benefits for Those New Yorkers Who Voluntarily Travel to High Hit Areas

In an effort to preserve the progress made in fighting the COVID pandemic, Governor Cuomo has signed an executive order to cut COVID health benefits for those residents who leave the state and travel to high hit areas.

States grappling with surges in COVID cases (higher than 10% positive test rate) include:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Mississippi
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Texas

Any New York residents travelling back from these states need to self quarantine for 14 days, according to another executive order given this last week. Fines up to $10,000 could be levied according to the order.

According to the the Governor’s website, he states:

New Yorkers have controlled the spread of this unprecedented virus by being smart and disciplined, and our progress to date is illustrated by the current low numbers of new cases and hospitalizations,” Governor Cuomo said. “But as we are seeing in other states who reopened quickly, the pandemic is far from over and we need stay vigilant. We’re prepared to do the aggressive testing and contact tracing required to slow and ultimately control any potential clusters of new cases like the one in Westchester County. If we are going to maintain the progress we’ve seen, we need everyone to take personal responsibility — that’s why I’m issuing an executive order that says any New York employee who voluntarily travels to a high-risk state will not be eligible for the COVID protections we created under paid sick leave.”

Benefits were extended for COVID related illness in March allowing paid sick leave and protection from losing one’s job. Companies with more than 100 employees are to grant 14 days sick leave and those with 11-99 employees and some (netting over $1 Million) with less than 10 employees are given 5 days sick leave.

This is a developing story…

Great Gift!!

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and is a Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in 4th of July, fires, fireworks, Health, news

Avoiding Firework Injuries this Independence Day

The most sparkly and spectacular holiday of the year is unfortunately one of the most dangerous when it comes to fireworks.  As more Americans shoot off fireworks themselves, injuries are rising exponentially.  Let’s break this down.

 

When were fireworks first invented?

Many historians believe fireworks have their origins dating back to 200 BC in China.

According to History.com, They would roast bamboo, which explodes with a bang when heated due to its hollow air pockets, in order to ward off evil spirits. At some point between 600 and 900 A.D., Chinese alchemists—perhaps hoping to discover an elixir for immortality—mixed together saltpeter (potassium nitrate, then a common kitchen seasoning), charcoal, sulfur and other ingredients, unwittingly yielding an early form of gunpowder. The Chinese began stuffing the volatile substance into bamboo shoots that were then thrown into the fire to produce a loud blast. The first fireworks were born.

 

When were fireworks first used to celebrate Independence Day?

On July 3, 1776, John Adams penned a letter to his wife suggesting fireworks, “illuminations” be used to celebrate the upcoming Independence Day (the next day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence).  The following year, fireworks were used in Philadelphia’s celebration of Independence Day along with a parade.

 

What types of fireworks are legal/illegal?

Currently, Massachusetts is the only state that bans any individual from owning or setting off fireworks.  As for the other states, laws vary.  For most states, party poppers, smokers, hand-held sparklers, wheel and ground spinners and those approved by the CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commission) are approved.  Illegal fireworks most commonly include rockets, Roman Candles, wire and wooden sparklers, projectile fireworks, those using  arsenic, phosphorus, thiocyanates, and gunpowder.

Each state’s laws can be viewed here.

 

How many people get injured each year during Fourth of July?

Statistics vary but according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) :

  • Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 outside and other fires. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 40 civilian injuries, and an average of $43 million in direct property damage.
  • In 2017, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for fireworks related injuries; 54% of those injuries were to the extremities and 36% were to the head. Children younger than 15 years of age accounted for more than one-third (36%) of the estimated 2017 injuries.

 

Which fireworks appear to be the most dangerous?

Many fireworks range in potential for injury, and fire hazards appear to be the most worrisome. However, sparklers appear to be the culprit in the majority of cases sending kids and adults to the emergency room.

 

What types of injuries can be incurred from fireworks?

Keep in mind some sparklers can reach up to 2000 degrees.  Not only is direct contact with fireworks dangerous but secondary injuries may occur trying to avoid the firework.  These include:

  • Burns
  • Eye injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Hearing Loss
  • Lacerations
  • Broken Bones
  • Sprains
  • Car accidents

Burns comprise the majority of injuries, however many other tragic ones can occur.  One of my in-laws was a bystander when he lost his cornea (outer layer of the eye) from a popper that jumped towards his face, blinding him.

pic0.jpg

 

How can we protect ourselves from firework injuries?

  • Avoid purchasing and using illegal fireworks.
  • Do not allow young children to handle the fireworks.
  • Use neighborhood areas that are not in the flow of traffic.
  • Have buckets of water and fire extinguishers nearby.
  • Have bystanders back up and remember that they can be in the line of danger as those handling the fireworks.
  • Never relight a firework.
  • Dispose of fireworks only after thoroughly doused with water by a bucket or hose.
  • Don’t carry fireworks in pockets.
  • Don’t shoot fireworks out of metal or glass casings.
  • Opt for watching professional fireworks shows.  They are true fireworks, created by pros, and much more spectacular and beautiful than what we can do on our own.

Happy 4th of July!!

 

Las-Vegas-Fireworks.jpg

IMAGE FROM MENU OF MUSINGS

 

spanish book

Learning Medical Spanish is Easy!!!

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in 4th of July, Health, news

Avoiding Firework Injuries this Independence Day

The most sparkly and spectacular holiday of the year is unfortunately one of the most dangerous when it comes to fireworks.  As more Americans shoot off fireworks themselves, injuries are rising exponentially.  Let’s break this down.

When were fireworks first invented?

Many historians believe fireworks have their origins dating back to 200 BC in China.  According to History.com, They would roast bamboo, which explodes with a bang when heated due to its hollow air pockets, in order to ward off evil spirits. At some point between 600 and 900 A.D., Chinese alchemists—perhaps hoping to discover an elixir for immortality—mixed together saltpeter (potassium nitrate, then a common kitchen seasoning), charcoal, sulfur and other ingredients, unwittingly yielding an early form of gunpowder. The Chinese began stuffing the volatile substance into bamboo shoots that were then thrown into the fire to produce a loud blast. The first fireworks were born.

When were fireworks first used to celebrate Independence Day?

On July 3, 1776, John Adams penned a letter to his wife suggesting fireworks, “illuminations” be used to celebrate the upcoming Independence Day (the next day the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence).  The following year, fireworks were used in Philadelphia’s celebration of Independence Day along with a parade.

What types of fireworks are legal/illegal?

Currently, Massachusetts is the only state that bans any individual from owning or setting off fireworks.  As for the other states, laws vary.  For most states, party poppers, smokers, hand-held sparklers, wheel and ground spinners and those approved by the CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commission) are approved.  Illegal fireworks most commonly include rockets, Roman Candles, wire and wooden sparklers, projectile fireworks, those using  arsenic, phosphorus, thiocyanates, and gunpowder.

Each state’s laws can be viewed here.

How many people get injured each year during Fourth of July?

Statistics vary but according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) :

  • In 2013, fireworks caused an estimated 15,600 reported fires in the U.S., including 1,400 structure fires, 200 vehicle fires, and 14,000 outside and other fires.
  • More than one-quarter (28%) of fires started by fireworks in 2009-2013 were reported on Independence Day. Almost half (47%) of the reported fires on the Fourth of July were started by fireworks.

According to the CRSC, 280 people a day becoming injured in the weeks surrounding the 4th of July holiday.

Which fireworks appear to be the most dangerous?

Many fireworks range in potential for injury, and fire hazards appear to be the most worrisome. However, sparklers appear to be the culprit in the majority of cases sending kids and adults to the emergency room.

What types of injuries can be incurred from fireworks?

Keep in mind some sparklers can reach up to 2000 degrees.  Not only is direct contact with fireworks dangerous but secondary injuries may occur trying to avoid the firework.  These include:

  • Burns
  • Eye injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Hearing Loss
  • Lacerations
  • Broken Bones
  • Sprains
  • Car accidents

Burns comprise the majority of injuries, however many other tragic ones can occur.  One of my in-laws was a bystander when he lost his cornea (outer layer of the eye) from a popper that jumped towards his face, blinding him.

pic0.jpg

 

How do we protect ourselves from firework injuries?

Avoid purchasing and using illegal fireworks.

Do not allow young children to handle the fireworks.

Use neighborhood areas that are not in the flow of traffic.

Have buckets of water and fire extinguishers nearby.

Have bystanders back up and remember that they can be in the line of danger as those handling the fireworks.

Never relight a firework.

Dispose of fireworks only after thoroughly doused with water by a bucket or hose.

Don’t carry fireworks in pockets.

Don’t shoot fireworks out of metal or glass casings.

Opt for watching professional fireworks shows.  They are true fireworks, created by pros, and much more spectacular and beautiful than what we can do on our own.

Happy 4th of July!!

 

Las-Vegas-Fireworks.jpg

Image from Menu of Musings

 

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

She is also a Board Certified Family Physician and Assistant Professor at Touro University Nevada