ST. LOUIS — It is illegal for residents to set off fireworks in many parts of the region, but St. Louis Children’s Hospital said it’s already seeing kids with fireworks injuries days ahead of the Fourth of July weekend.

While DIY fireworks may be exciting at Independence Day gatherings, injuries can put a damper on the holiday.

“Those of us who work in the emergency department kind of dread it because we do see some pretty gruesome injuries,” said Dr. Jamie Kondis, a Washington University pediatric emergency medicine physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

She said the emergency room sees about 10 to 15 serious fireworks injuries each year. The ER has already seen some in 2022.

“And they’re pretty severe injuries we see. Can be the loss of digits and facial injuries and really even bad eye injuries,” Kondis said.

Medical officials said more than 3,000 children under 15 end up in emergency rooms every year because of fireworks.

“When you think about it, the rest of the year, you’re not letting kids play with fire or candles or flames,” Kondis said. “So why are you letting the do it on the Fourth of July?”

Kondis said another major concern is the noise of fireworks at the public fireworks shows.

“The big fireworks shows can actually get up to 150 decibels, which is the same as if you’re standing next to a big jet plane when it takes off,” she said. “And in little kids, that can actually cause an eardrum to rupture. So, if you are going to be somewhat close to the fireworks, make sure they’re wearing ear protection.”

She advised parents to leave fireworks to the professionals and attend public fireworks displays instead of lighting them at home.