CORPUS CHRISTI — As 4th of July celebrations begin, many people will be setting off fireworks. However, what many people don't realize is those fireworks could fires or lead to serious injuries.
Dr. J.D. Cameron, an emergency physician at Christus Spohn Shoreline, says more than a quarter of firework-related injuries he sees at the emergency room are from sparklers.
The most common injuries are to the hands and eyes, and are caused by fireworks malfunctioning or mishandling by the user. Most of the injuries also occur in children or young adults.
"They get very burned very badly by these sparklers," Cameron said. "So we want to just be cognizant of that ability of a sparkler to injure children."
Remember, fireworks cannot be set off within city limits, but if you're lighting them outside of the city, there is also the risk of starting fires.
Corpus Christi Fire Chief Assistant Randy Paige, who is also a Marshal, says aerial fireworks are the most dangerous. So if you're lighting them, make sure you're in a clear, open area, and have a small bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby just in case a fire starts.
"Overall, we haven't had a whole lot of rain in the last few months, so stuff out there still is dry," Paige said.
But with the right ignition source, a fire could spark instantly.
Some other tips to keep in mind: it's never a good idea to drink alcohol and light fireworks, have adult supervision, and do not point fireworks at another person. If you or someone else is seriously injured, call 9-1-1 immediately.
By the way, it is illegal to light fireworks within Corpus Christi city limits. The police department says there will be dedicated officers to handle firework-related calls. If you're caught shooting them off within city limits, that is a Class C misdemeanor, which means you could pay a citation up to $500.