10-Year-Old Loses Fingers Playing With Fireworks

St. Louis, MO – A 10-year-old is recovering after having a firework explode in his grasp Friday. Martinez Smith-Payne didn’t realize the damage it would cause when he held the lit pyrotechnic in his palm.

Fortunately, Martinez is going to be okay, but the child did lose four fingers on his left hand as a result, and will require reconstructive surgery. For now, he remains in the intensive care unit of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and is in good condition, according to Fox2Now.

Frances Smith has been by her son’s side ever since and urges others to be mindful about children and fireworks.

In this case, the boy and his brother reportedly found the firework in a field near their home.

The National Fire Protection Association reports, in 2011, 9,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in US hospital emergency rooms. Sixty-five percent of burns and wounds occur within the months immediately surrounding the Fourth of July. A smaller percentage happen around New Year’s Eve.

Forty-six percent of these hospitalizations are for burns and serious wounds to the hands and fingers; followed by 11 percent of harm to the legs and 17 percent to the eyes and face.

Illegal and homemade fireworks account for four deaths a year, and there has been at least one documented case of a decapitation.

Statistically, males (by 68 percent), 20 to 44 are the most common group to incur injuries from sparklers, bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers. Alcohol is typically a factor.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends only lighting fireworks one at a time and taking a safe distance when doing so. Keep a water source such as a garden hose or bucketful nearby in the event of a fiery mishap. Never re-light or pick up a firework that has failed to launch or ignite fully. Never allow children to handle fireworks. Pyrotechnics should only be engaged under the supervision of an adult.

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