What’s not to love about sparklers? They’re fun to hold, they make great photo props, and they’re generally more predictable than their more explosive fireworks counterparts. But before you hand them out to everyone at your next backyard bash, take note: These things are still hot (they burn at nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit!) and are not as foolproof as you might think.
In fact, during the month-long stretch between June 20 and July 20, 2014, sparklers accounted for 19 percent of the 7,000 fireworks-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. For children under five, they accounted for 61 percent of the total estimated injuries.
Fortunately, most sparkler injuries were minor, and 39 percent involved the hands and fingers. That’s compared to fireworks devices that fly or emit sparks, where the majority of injuries involved the eyes, head, and face.
Still, it’s good to use caution. According to the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, you’ll want to keep sparklers outdoors, avoid pointing them toward people or any part of your own body, and douse spent sparklers in water to prevent a fire.
And perhaps most importantly, keep them away from the kids.