Doctors prepare for Fourth of July injuries

July Fourth fireworks
AP Photo/John Minchillo

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – You want the grill to sizzle and the fireworks to boom, after all these traditions make up the Fourth of July.

It’s these moments that become long-lasting memories, but they can also leaving long-lasting scars too.

“Every day in the emergency department we see people who think ‘these kind of injuries can’t happen to me’ and they happen all the time,” Dr. Tom Proctor with Kettering Medical Center Emergency Room said. “When you’re doing a high-risk activity, which is using matches, using explosives, there’s a high potential for that to end up in injuries.”

Despite the ER doctor’s warnings, his medical staff knows accidents may happen over the weekend. Injuries can range from minor burns to loss of finger to permanent loss of eyesight.

“Typically, volume can go down early in the day as people do family events and then as the evening goes on and these high-risk behaviors come forward with the use of fireworks, then that’s when we see higher volume of people with more injuries. But we’re always prepared and ready to go for those,” the 20-year ER physician explained.

And if you’re injured, there are different steps you can take to help ease the pain and damage before heading to the hospital.

Dr. Proctor advises to decrease the “bleeding by putting a simple bandage on and applying direct pressure to help with lacerations is probably the first thing people should do. Keeping any burns actually covered again with a moist dressing or an ice pack is key.”

Experts also say that you should avoid doing any July 4th activities while under the influence, doing that will only increase your chance of landing in the ER.

If you do sustain injuries, you’re advised to immediately call 9-1-1 for proper care. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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