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Tips from Trauma Center to Stay Safe this Fourth of July Weekend

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Tips from Trauma Center to Stay Safe this Fourth of July Weekend

A three-foot “safety zone” around all grills is recommended for children to prevent possible burn injuries.

Stony Brook, NY, June 30, 2017 – In the spirit of the Fourth of July holiday this weekend, experts at Stony Brook University Trauma Center and the Suffolk County Volunteer Firefighters Burn Center at Stony Brook Medicine offer burn prevention tips for party-goers to stay safe while having fun.

“During the summer, we treat more patients with injuries from burns, drownings, boating accidents, and motor vehicle crashes, than at any other time of the year,” says James Vosswinkel, MD, Chief of Trauma, Emergency Surgery and Surgical Critical Care, Stony Brook Medicine. “We want Long Islanders to get out and enjoy the warm summer months, but to take a moment to first think about safety and precautionary measures they can take when planning outdoor activities. Many of the accidents and deaths that we see are avoidable.”

Don’t set off fireworks at home; watch from a distance.

When using sparklers:

  • Follow the packaging directions
  • Children should never be allowed to handle sparklers
  • Never point a sparkler at someone or towards your body
  • Only light one sparkler at a time
  • Do not try to relight a malfunctioning sparkler
  • Completely douse a used sparkler in water before disposing to prevent a fire

When using outdoor grills:

  • Be sure your BBQ is well maintained and cleaned regularly.
  • When barbecuing, remember to keep all barbecue accessories, including charcoal, lighter fluid, propane gas tanks, well out of the reach of kids.
  • Three-foot “safety zone” around all grills and campfires is recommended to keep children far enough away from possible burn injuries.

When using fire pits:

  • Children must be supervised around campfires
  • Keep a bucket of sand and/or a garden hose nearby in case the fire grows.
  • Place the fire pit away from trees, branches, and foliage in order to prevent catching fire.

First aid for first- and second-degree burns:

  • Soothe the burn under cool running water long enough to reduce the pain, usually 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Don’t put ice directly on a burn.
  • Cover the burn with sterile gauze, do not use lotions or butter which can cause infection.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever if needed.
  • Don’t break blisters.
  • Seek medical treatment for large 2nd-degree burns, 3rd-degree burns, and burns in children or older adults.


About Stony Brook University Trauma Center:

As Suffolk County’s only Level I Trauma Center, Stony Brook provides the highest possible level of adult and pediatric trauma care. We are state designated as the only Regional Trauma Center in Suffolk County, treating 1,800 trauma patients annually, including 200 children. For children, we provide a dedicated 24/7 Pediatric Emergency Department adjacent to the main Emergency Department, staffed by board-certified Pediatric Emergency Medicine physicians. The eight-bed Suffolk County Volunteer Firefighters Burn Center is Suffolk County’s only state-designated regional Burn Center. To learn more, visit

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