Atrium Health Navicent Encourages Fireworks and Gun Safety for Independence Day Holiday

June 29, 2022

Physicians urge caution in fireworks use and discourage celebratory gunfire

As our nation prepares to celebrate the Independence Day holiday, Atrium Health Navicent physicians urge everyone to keep safety in mind.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 15,600 people were treated for fireworks-related injuries in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2020. Two thirds of those injuries occurred in the weeks immediately before and immediately after the Independence Day holiday.

The most common injuries include burns to the hands and fingers, followed by injuries that involve the head, face, ears and eyes. Fireworks, including sparklers and flares, can cause serious burns as well as blast injuries that can permanently impair vision and hearing.

Physicians at Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center, central and south Georgia’s only nationally-verified Level I Trauma Center, encourage individuals to prevent firework injuries by following these tips:

• Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

• Adults should supervise all fireworks activities.

• Handle and use fireworks in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and all warning labels.

• Light fireworks on smooth, flat surfaces, and aim them away from buildings, dry leaves, flammable materials and spectators.

• Do not try to relight fireworks that malfunction.

• Do not modify fireworks or use homemade fireworks.

• Light fireworks one at a time, then quickly move back.

• Keep a phone and a bucket of water or fire extinguisher within reach, and know first aid for burns.

“Physicians at Atrium Health Navicent treat fireworks-related injuries each year, with more patients coming in with these injuries in the days closest to Independence Day and New Years,” said Dr. John Wood, Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center’s emergency center medical director. “If you plan to use fireworks, follow safety precautions such as using eye protection, not lighting fireworks indoors and never holding a firework while lighting it to ensure your holiday celebration is safe.”

Physicians also urge revelers to avoid firing guns in celebration of the holiday. Bullets returning to the ground due to celebratory gunfire can cause serious injury or death for bystanders. Atrium Health Navicent is participating in the Georgia Stay SAFE campaign, which promotes safe gun storage and the prevention of firearm injuries in children.

If an accident or injury occurs, seek appropriate medical treatment. For emergency situations, call 911 or seek care at the nearest emergency center. Atrium Health Navicent offers emergency care at the following locations:

• Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center (770 Pine St., Macon)

• Atrium Health Navicent Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital (888 Pine St., Macon)

• Atrium Health Navicent Peach Emergency Department (1960 Hwy 247 Connector, Byron)

• Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin (821 North Cobb St., Milledgeville)

• Monroe County Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent Partner (88 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Forsyth)

• Putnam General Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent Partner (101 Greensboro Road, Eatonton)

For non-life-threatening injuries, visit your nearest urgent care provider. Atrium Health Navicent provides urgent care at three Macon locations. • Atrium Health Navicent Urgent Care North (3400 Riverside Drive, Macon)

• Atrium Health Navicent Urgent Care East (1339 Gray Highway, Macon)

• Atrium Health Navicent Urgent Care Northwest (5925 Zebulon Road, Macon)

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit