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‘TIS THE UTAH SEASON FOR FIREWORKS INJURIES

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An emergency room physician hopes that Saturday's July 24 celebration won't bring the usual number of fireworks victims to Utah's hospitals.

Bottle rockets, sparklers and firecrackers take a toll of eyes and hands every year, Dr. Kathy Atkinson of Holy Cross Hospital said Friday. Many of the victims are children, whom she doesn't think should be using any fireworks, not even sparklers.- Sparklers are white-hot. During the night, when they're used, children are "twirling them all over the sky, and they tend to sometimes get poked in the eye or burned in the eyeball from the sparkler. That happens fairly frequently."

- A bottle rocket, a small projectile on a stick, can zoom out of the bottle "and hit you in the eye or somewhere else. People tend to not use them safely."

- Firecrackers cause hand injuries when people hold onto them too long. And Atkinson has also seen damage to the eye from firecrackers, "actually the hot gunpowder flying into the eye and burning it."