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Society public service announcement urges caution this Fourth of July

Release Date: June 26, 2015
Contact: Jennifer Wieman - 608.442.3765 jennifer.wieman@wismed.org

MADISON (June 26, 2015) – The Fourth of July holiday is almost here, and across the country, people will celebrate the nation’s birthday with parties, parades and, of course, fireworks.

But what people might not be aware of are the very real dangers of handling seemingly harmless sparklers. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers can reach temperatures of 1200 degrees and burn as hot as lava.

“They can cause fires and severe burns,” says Wisconsin Medical Society member Kevin Flaherty, MD, in a public service announcement (PSA) released by the Society. “Twenty-four percent of fireworks injuries are caused by sparklers — 50 percent of those are children.”

Doctor Flaherty, an ophthalmologist with Eye Clinic of Wisconsin, urges adults to use caution by keeping sparklers out of children’s hands and to avoid leaving hot wires lying on the ground. Click here to listen to the PSA.

This is the first in a series of new public service announcements that will be released by the Society throughout the year on a variety of public health topics including smoking cessation, medication disposal and flu shots.

With more than 12,500 members dedicated to the best interests of their patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society is the largest association of medical doctors in the state and a trusted source for health policy leadership since 1841.