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Emergency rooms prepare for July 4 fireworks injuries

June 27, 2013 at 3:21 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, June 27 (UPI) -- Fireworks injuries in the 30 days prior to July 4 last year hospitalized more than 5,000 people and killed six, consumer safety experts warned.

Among those who died was Justin Blake, 17, of Buckner, Ark., who taped about 300 sparklers together to build a "sparkler bomb" that exploded unexpectedly, NBC News said.

A sparkler -- a handheld wire that emits flames and sparks in assorted colors until it burns out -- can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, as hot as a blow torch, said Dr. Andrew Sama, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Sama said about 200 people per day visit hospital emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries around the July 4 holiday.

"There's no such thing as completely safe fireworks," Sama said. "A few minutes of well-intentioned fun can result in lifelong disabilities."

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