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Firework safety ahead of stands opening

 IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Firework stands are opening soon, but before lighting them up, there are some things to remember.         

As the only burn center in the state, Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center sees a lot of burn patients. And there's one thing in particular they see a lot of this time of year, says trauma medical director Dr. Michael Lemon.

"As we move into the next few weeks, to next month, the most common burn injury will switch from campfires to sparkler injuries," Lemon said.

Reaching temperatures of 2,000 degrees, these fan favorites can pack a punch. A quick touch can lead to 2nd or even 3rd-degree burns.

"It's the number one burn injury we saw last year, and it's usually with little children." Lemon said. "Little children will be handed a sparkler, they'll be holding the sparkler, and as soon as the sparkler goes out, they'll reach out with their other hand and grab the hot, although dark, portion of the sparkler that's already been burned."

And when it comes to throwing away the fireworks, it's better to be safe than sorry.

"Make sure that you hose them down, they are completely out." Lemon said. "Leave them in the street for the night, then put them in a garbage can, so they can be disposed of later. We saw house fires last year started from firework displays where the firework leftovers were placed in a garbage can, and ultimately they can burn your house down."

Lemon also said the best, safest and smartest choice, is to just go to a professional show.

"Go and take advantage of the people who spend a whole lot more money and they buy a whole lot bigger fireworks, and watch what they do and just enjoy it for what it is," Lemon said.

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Rachel Fabbi

Rachel Fabbi is a reporter, anchor and producer for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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