North Carolina fire officials are warning parents of the dangers surrounding fireworks modeled like children's toys.
The items, which look like “Pete the Dragon” or “My Little Pony” novelty figurines, can reach excessively high temperatures and shoot fireworks and smoke, the city of Concord warned on Facebook.
The unicorn toys can reach a temperature of about 200 degrees after it’s been ignited, a fire department spokeswoman told Fox News. It shoots sparks from its horn and paw. The dragon toy spews sparks from its mouth and tail and blows out colorful smoke. It can reach temperatures of about 180 degrees.
The unicorn figurine also shoots projectiles, which is illegal in North Carolina.
An official said the toy lookalikes only have a small sticker on them to warn parents and children that they are, in fact, fireworks – something the average child might not see. She encouraged parents to be “vigilant” while buying fireworks or celebrating the Fourth of July as many firework manufacturers are “doing whatever it takes for children to want them.”
The toys can “cause severe injury and burns to children who may believe that they are a toy,” the city said. The unicorn firework could also be a choking hazard as its small horn detaches.
So far, fire officials only found the fireworks being sold at one pop-up stand in Concord, a spokeswoman said. Once officials discovered the unicorn shot projectiles and informed the seller, it was voluntarily removed from the shop.
The National Fire Protection Association warns that fireworks cause more than 18,000 fires per year, which results in an average of three deaths and $43 million in property damage.
Last year, nearly 13,000 people were treated in emergency rooms in the U.S. due to injuries related to fireworks, the NFPA said. More than one-third of the patients seen were children under 15 years old.