ST PAUL, Minn. — Instead of spending time boating, fishing and swimming this summer, 10-year-old Jacob Beard will be in and out of the hospital recovering from first, second and third degree burns.
Beard was standing in his driveway Sunday night, watching his neighbors shoot fireworks, when family members say one of them malfunctioned hitting Beard in the hip and leg.
Images capturing the extent of his injuries are now serving as a warning for other families.
"There's no such thing as a safe firework. Any firework has the potential to cause a life-altering injury," said Dr. Alex Lacey, who is currently treating Beard at the Burn Center inside Regions Hospital.
Dr. Lacey says they see roughly 15 patients a year with minor to severe burns due to fireworks, something she says can be avoided.
"No one should ever have a live firework in their hand. Even if you think it's a dud, or it's not functional, do not put them in your hands because they can always go off at later times," explained Dr. Lacey.
That includes a fourth of July staple, those dazzling handheld sparklers.
"They're really dangerous as well, a lot of people like to give them to small children but sparklers can get to be over a thousand degrees Fahrenheit and can easily burn kids, so we recommend using things like glowsticks instead to have fun in the summer rather than something that can burn them," advised Dr. Lacey.
In the case involving Jacob, who wasn't holding a firework, Dr. lacey advises you be at least 40 feet away from the action.
"If you can be behind a barrier that's even better, we've all seen that firework that's aimed up at first and then it falls over and everyone's running and hiding so it's good to be where you can get somewhere quickly," said Dr. Lacey.
Doctor's say if you're burned by a firework take immediate action and place a cool wet rag on the burned area and get medical help.
Jacob's parents say he's at home for now after having trouble eating and sleeping at the hospital. He's scheduled for has surgery next week, and will have to undergo skin grafts, and a year's worth of physical therapy.
A GoFundMe page has been setup to assist family with medical expenses.
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