The Safe Way to Glow: Glow-in-the-Dark Product and Fireworks Safety Tips

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The Safe Way to Glow: Glow-in-the-Dark Product and Fireworks Safety Tips

Around the 4th of July, poison centers manage an increasing number of calls about exposure to glow-in-the-dark products and fireworks.

Glow-in-the-Dark Product Safety Tips

Parents often view glow sticks and other glow-in-the-dark products as a safe alternative to fireworks to celebrate Independence Day, however it is still important to be aware of safety risks. Because of the attractive shapes and colors, glow products are very tempting for children to place in their mouth. In doing so, the child may bite into and puncture the product, allowing the liquid to leak out and be swallowed or splash into the eye.

  • Throw away any damaged products upon opening packaging
  • Ensure glow-in-the-dark products are age appropriate
  • Do not children unattended with glow products
  • Know where your local emergency room or urgent care is located
In the Event of Emergency Exposure

Call the Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information immediately for treatment recommendations following any exposure to glow products or fireworks

Call 1-800-222-1222

Poison Emergencies

Pharmacists and registered nurses at the poison center are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800-222-1222. Please do not email the poison center or a member of the poison center staff, as poisoning emergencies are not handled through email. The Oklahoma Center for Poison and Drug Information is a program of the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy at the OU Health Sciences Center. For more information, visit

Firework Safety Tips

Fireworks often come in packages that can look like candy to a child. Swallowing any amount of fireworks can be harmful. Burned or used fireworks may still contain chemicals such as potassium nitrate, white phosphorus, barium chlorate, and arsenic. They should be kept out of the reach of children and animals.

Remember the following tips for you and your family to safely enjoy celebrating the 4th of July.

  • Consider safer alternatives such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or decorative wearables
  • Observe your local and state laws
  • Have a designated sober adult light all legal fireworks
  • Light one firework at a time and move away quickly
  • Keep children and other observers at a safe distance
  • Store fireworks and firework debris out of children’s reach
  • Keep a water source near by for an emergencies

“The most common injury we saw last season came from handling mortar rounds and other fireworks that experienced delayed explosions. If you light a firework or mortar round, and it doesn’t react as planned, do not pick it up and hold it facing your eyes to troubleshoot” says Denni-Wilson Lowber, OU Health Trauma Burn Coordinator.

“Consider it a dud and leave it alone for at least five minutes to ensure that it does not explode. In the event a burn does occur, hold the affected area under cool water to stop the burning process — not ice. Remove all clothing/jewelry from the injured area, and cover with a clean, dry sheet or bandage. Do not apply anything to the burn that is not intended for burns. Afterward, seek medical attention.”

Get Immediate Treatment at OU Health ER & Urgent Care

Did you know that over 50% of firework related injuries occur in people under the age of 20 years? Thousands of firework injuries are treated around holiday celebrations such as Independence Day that often leave permanent damage to eyes, hands and face.

At OU Health ER & Urgent Care, you'll find the convenience of both ER and urgent care services under one roof. When you're not sure if you need emergency care or urgent care, you don't need to decide. Just walk into an OU Health ER & Urgent Care location near you for the appropriate level of care.

Our combined emergency room and urgent care facilities come fully equipped to handle everything from allergies, colds, flu, sprains, cuts and scrapes to chest pain, appendicitis, complex fractures and more. An onsite laboratory, X-ray, ultrasound and CT scanning ensure you receive prompt, accurate diagnosis and the right level of care.

Walk in any time for OU Health emergency room (ER) services or urgent care every day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.