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Important Information Parents Should Know Before the Fourth of July

Updated: 7/2/2013

Firework Safety Tips Shared by WNY Regional Pediatric Trauma Center

Dr. Kathryn Bass, director, WNY Regional Pediatric Trauma Center at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, is joined by Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard and Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell W. Whitfield, Jr. during a press conference to promote the importance of firework safety this Independence Day.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 44 percent of injuries caused by fireworks are inflicted on those 19 years of age and younger.

The following is important information for parents from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and shared by the Western New York Regional Pediatric Trauma Center at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in advance of the Independence Day holiday: 

  • Private firework displays are not legal in New York State. Your best and safest option for seeing fireworks at any time is to attend publicly organized firework displays, and to limit use of pyrotechnics to professionals.
  • If you choose to light fireworks, keep children far away from the fireworks and supervised at all times.
  • Never shoot fireworks off in a metal or glass container.
  • Do not position any part of your or someone else’s body immediately over a firework fixture being lit.
  • Retreat to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Do not position or throw fireworks at another individual or animal.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up a firework that failed to light up.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Water and first aid materials should be kept nearby in case of an accident.

More than half of firework related injuries that occur are burns. Burns and other injuries resulting from fireworks are most commonly to the hands, fingers, head, face and ears. The most common firework types involved in the injury are firecrackers, sparklers, bottle rockets, reloadable shells, novelties and roman candles.

Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo is the only hospital in Western New York to provide infants, children and adolescent immediate access on site to pediatric surgery and a full panel of pediatric medical subspecialists, including the region’s largest and safest neonatal intensive care unit and the Western New York Regional Pediatric Trauma Center. As the Regional Pediatric Trauma Center, all major injuries involving infants, children and adolescents from throughout the eight counties of Western New York and beyond are transported to Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo for immediate critical care.

Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, a Kaleida Health facility and teaching hospital for the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, is the regional center for comprehensive and state-of-the-art pediatric, neonatal, perinatal and obstetrical services in Western New York and beyond. For more information, please go online at