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Safety Tips For the Fourth of July

It's Independence Day, which means many in Louisville have stocked up on sparklers, bottle rockets and and other illuminations.

But before lighting up the sky, consider the potential hazards. Dr. Candida Suffrage, medical director of the Baylor Scott and White Georgetown Clinic in Austin, said the Fourth of July is typically one of the busiest days for emergency rooms.

"We see burns, eye injuries. We also see injuries from motor vehicle accidents because a lot of people are traveling," she said.

Suffrage said many people may not realize that the official age guidelines for operating fireworks is 21-years-old.

"Children are most vulnerable to burns and eye injuries given their size so it's better that an adult operate fireworks. And when they do operate fireworks they should read the labels very carefully, make sure they abide by all cautions and warnings," Suffrage said.

In the month leading up to the Fourth of July, an average of 230 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries, according to Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The most common injuries are to the hands and fingers, followed by the head, face and ears. Firecrackers are sparklers are most likely to cause injuries.

Suffrage said the safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a community event.

"Fireworks are operated by a professional and you know you're safe and you're at a safe distance of 500 feet or more," she said.

If someone is planning to light their own fireworks, Suffrage suggests keeping a bucket of water or a water hose nearby when lighting fireworks in case of fire.