Ok, my family knows I’m a bit of a pyrotechnic patriot when it comes to our July 4th celebration. However, I understand the risks and take the necessary safety precautions:
The Danger of Fireworks
When it comes to fireworks safety, common sense is first. Unfortunately for so many across the country every year, impatience, cramped backyards, and booze can cause serious tragedy. Every Fourth of July, over 10,000 people (mostly parents with kids in tow) come rushing to the ER, because of fireworks mishaps. While most consumer fireworks are generally safe and reliable due to government oversight, even some of those fireworks can cause blindness, burning, and other harm to the casual shooter or spectator. Firecrackers that are tossed or thrown at others are the cause of the most injury, followed by rockets, and then sparklers.
The Underrated Sparkler
Sparklers are perhaps the most underestimated: they sizzle at over 1,000 degrees. Sparkler injuries account for about 10% of all fireworks injuries, half of which happen to preschoolers. Since it is easy to view these sizzlers as relatively harmless, it is important to follow strict safety guidelines, especially when children are using them.
We have the kids stick the sparklers in bare ground or a concrete crack before lighting. Eye protection is highly recommended for everyone near by, and non-negotiable for shooters. Also make sure to have a handy supply of water, and check for any dry litter that could potentially feed an accidental fire. Furthermore, never handle lit fireworks or shoot them anywhere but up. Lastly, have a designated shooter who stays away from booze and follows all the safety recommendations for an injury-free Fourth of July! Happy Birthday, America!