HCA Healthcare/HealthONE’s Swedish Medical Center Promotes Fireworks Safety

Safety tips to help you stay out of the ER this season.

HCA Healthcare/HealthONE’s Swedish Medical Center Promotes Fireworks Safety
Englewood, CO, June 26, 2019 --(PR.com)-- Where there are fireworks and hot grills, there’s always the possibility of burns.

That’s why the July 4 holiday is a busy time at Burn & Reconstructive Centers of Colorado at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood.

“Superficial burns all the way up to significant traumas come through our facility during the holiday,” said Dr. Benson Pulikkottil, the medical director of the burn center. “Most of those injuries we treat can be prevented.”

Dr. Pulikkottil has a host of tips aimed at making Independence Day safer.

When it comes to the bombs that burst in air, people often think that some fireworks – like sparklers – are safe. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, Dr. Pulikkottil said. All fireworks can be dangerous, especially for children.

“Start off by clearly establishing a shooting area if you are not going to hire professionals to shoot your fireworks,” he said. “This safety zone should only be open to the designated ‘shooter’ and completely off limits to kids.”

Other safety precautions include:

· Ensure a fire extinguisher, hose or bucket of water is nearby.
· Make sure the “shooter” is sober, not wearing loose clothing that could ignite, and follows all directions on the fireworks label.
· If the device does not have a warning and/or instructions label, do not fire it.
· Never use fireworks of any kind indoors.
· Light fireworks one at a time.
· Never throw fireworks. A malfunctioning fuse could cause the item to go off in your hand.
· Never light fireworks held in someone’s hand.
· Never stand over an item that does not fire.
· Remember that fireworks, especially sparklers and smaller items that stay on the ground, are still very hot, and therefore dangerous, after they have been used.

Staying safe should also extend to the grilling area, and it starts before the grill is lit. Dr. Pulikkottil recommends checking the connections of the gas lines to ensure there are no leaks. The best way to check for leaks is to spray soapy water on gas line connections. If you see water bubbles, there is a leak.

When you are ready to light the grill, make sure to keep the lid open, and never use gasoline to help fuel the fire.

“There’s just too much of an explosion risk in that,” Dr. Pulikkottil said. “We have treated many large burns from grill accidents before.”

Other grilling tips include:

· Use grills only in properly ventilated areas, as the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and fires increases if grilling in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
· Do not use an accelerant, such as gasoline, to light a grill, campfire or debris pile. Gas fumes can ignite and cause a large explosion.
· Dispose of hot coals properly: Soak with water, then stir and soak again to make sure the fire is out.
· Always shut off the propane tank valve when not in use.
· Never try to light a gas grill with the lid closed.
· Always wear short sleeves and/or tight-fitting clothing while grilling.
· Use utensils with long handles to stay clear of hot surfaces.

There’s one more thing to make sure stays safe for Independence Day: your skin. Dr. Pulikkottil recommends using a sweatproof, broad-spectrum sunscreen (which protects against both UVA and UVB rays) with at least an SPF of 35. The sunscreen should be reapplied every 30 minutes or anytime you have been in the water – just in case the sunscreen gets washed off.

Learn more about the comprehensive burn center at Swedish Medical Center. Visit SwedishHospital.com/specialties/burn-care

About Swedish
Swedish Medical Center is located in the south metro Denver area where it has been a proud member of the community for more than 110 years. An acute care hospital with 408 licensed beds, annually Swedish cares for more than 200,000 patients with a team of approximately 2,000 dedicated employees, 300 volunteers and 1,400 physicians.

With stroke door to treatment times averaging just 20 minutes, Swedish serves as the Rocky Mountain Region’s referral center for the most advanced stroke treatment, and was the state’s first Joint Commission certified Comprehensive Stroke Center. Swedish also serves as the region’s neurotrauma and orthopedic trauma provider and is a level I trauma facility with a dedicated burn and reconstructive center. Over 150 facilities regularly transfer highly complex cases to Swedish.

Swedish Medical Center is proud to be a part of the HealthONE system of hospitals that earned the ranking as the #7 corporate philanthropist in the metro area and was the only hospital system ranked in the top 10. HealthONE contributed more than $1.5 million in 2018 and supports over 150 organizations through cash and in-kind donations. Additional information is available at www.SwedishHospital.com.
Swedish Medical Center
Kara Hamersky
(303) 817-5708