OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Fourth of July festivities are only a couple of days away.
"Firework injuries are unfortunately very common and 95% of firework injuries occur around the Fourth of July," said Dr. Zeb Timmons from the Children's Hospital and Medical Center emergency department.
Timmons said the majority of those firework injuries are burns and eye injuries.
"Last year we had, unfortunately, 13 kids with eye injuries and three of them have permanent loss of vision in one of their eyes, as a result of firework injuries," Timmons said.
Twenty-five percent of these eye injuries are when they are just watching the fireworks.
"It's really important to keep a close eye on the kids. Make sure they are in a safe area and protected and watched over during these fun events," Timmons said.
This year, Children's and Nebraska Medicine have partnered to hand out 2,300 safety goggles for kids. Something the Omaha Fire Department (OFD) said is also important for adults.
"If they have eye protection, even sunglasses, put some sunglasses on," said OFD Chief Scott Fitzpatrick. "They can give off sparks, so make sure you have an open space. Don't put your body directly over where you are lighting. Kind of light off to the side."
When you are done with your fireworks, don't pick them up right away.
"Spray them down with water, leave them out on the curb, and then the next day, when they are totally out and you can put them in your garbage, leave them out on the curb. Wait for the garbage man to come take them away," Fitzpatrick said.
Firefighters say this will keep everyone safe, even after the holiday is over.
"We want everybody to just have fun during the Fourth of July, be safe, have a happy Fourth and be able to have fun on the fifth as well," Fitzpatrick said.
And remember in Omaha, fireworks can be set off from Saturday, July 2 until Monday, July 4 and only until 11 p.m. on those nights.
You can pick up the free safety goggles for kids at several locations in the Omaha area.