Because of a change in New York State law, once outlawed "sparkling devices" are for sale this year across the state, and some sellers have already begun to offer them at pop up storefronts and tents across the region, in advance of the Independence Day holiday.
In late 2017, New York legalized the sale of sparkers state-wide, however, if individual counties do not want this business, they can “opt out” of this sales.
“The state very quietly and unbeknownst to us until a couple of months ago changed the law and made it so that the sparklers are legal to sell and purchase and counties would have to specifically ban them,"said Erie County Legislator Joseph Lorigo.
Even though sparkler sales are now underway at locations all around Erie County, these sellers have to register for a permit in order to sell sparklers during the time period of June and until July 5th. The permit gets approved by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
The State stresses that people under the age of 18 cannot purchase and use sparklers legally, and that they are not toys.
Because sparklers can reach temperatures close to 2,000 degrees, proper safety precautions need to be used when operating them. Oishei Children’s Hospital Trauma Injury and Prevention Coordinator Jeff Abbott stated
“Sparklers themselves burn at a very hot temperature, not like a match, not like a lighter, they burn at a very very hot temperature, so the degree of burns potentially for a child or adult is greater simply based on that burning temperature.”
[ More sparker safety tips and information from NYS is available HERE ]
As a former paramedic, Abbott also adds that a sparkler burn can be very serious, causing a trip to the emergency room for further attention.
“It’s traumatic, more so psychologically than physically for a families. Everyone is out having a good time and no one expects this stuff to happen and when it does, not to minimize it but it ruins a good time and takes the focus off the celebration and brings reality”
A sparkler burn must be treated right away with cold water and then be properly handled by medical professionals.