Those flaming torches, crackling sparklers and booming bottle rockets might be a long-standing tradition for family fun during the Independence Day celebration. But, remember, safety first as fireworks injuries sent more than 5,000 people to the emergency room last year during this holiday season, NBC News reported.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, that’s just over 60 percent of the total number of fireworks-related injuries tallied in a period of just 30 days. Specifically, fireworks sent more than 200 people a day to the ER during the holiday. What’s more, nearly half of all fireworks injuries in the United States occurred in children younger than 15.

Most injuries last year happened when fireworks malfunctioned, resulting in dangerous flight paths, shrapnel or accidental explosions. Other accidents transpired when people attempted to make homemade firecrackers or played with fireworks that were already lit or used.

One of last year’s tragedies occurred when a 17-year-old Arkansas boy was killed after taping together about 300 sparklers to make a so-called “sparkler bomb.” When he lit the device, an unexpected explosion caused his death. In addition, five other people also died in 2012 during the annual celebrations. All were men.

More than half of all fireworks injuries last year involved burns to the head, hands and face. (The eyes are among the most injured body parts, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.) But even scarier, one-fifth of last year’s injuries involved firecrackers that are often considered safe for young children, such as sparklers and bottle rockets. (Did you know that a sparkler can burn at almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit? That’s as hot as a blowtorch!)

“There is no such thing as completely safe fireworks,” said Andrew Sama, MD, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, who commented on the study. “A few minutes of well-intentioned fun can result in lifelong disabilities.”

So how can you celebrate this season while keeping you and your kids safe? The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests you leave it to the experts by sticking to professionally run fireworks shows instead of engaging in at-home displays. But if you plan on lighting a few celebratory firecrackers, click here for safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission

And don’t forget to protect yourself from sunburns this summer, too. Slather on the sunscreen, and check out these tips on how to protect African-American skin from sun damage.

For info about fireworks injuries to various body parts and safety tips for at-home celebrations, click here.