Celebrate Independence Day Safely–Leave Fireworks to the Professionals!

This Fourth of July, protect your family and friends by avoiding consumer fireworks and sparklers altogether.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Fireworks 2011 Annual Report, an estimated 6,300 Americans spent part of their Fourth of July holiday in the emergency room due to fireworks injuries. Children under the age of 5 experienced an estimated 700 injuries, with sparklers accounting for 43 percent of the total injuries.

“Most people do not realize that the tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200°F, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns” (The National Fire Protection Association).

An adult can also be injured by a child holding a sparkler. Sadly, as a toddler, I accidentally burned my stepmom, Judi, with a sparkler.

Because I couldn’t remember all of the details, I asked her to share the story:

Judi:  Funny you should mention it… Dad and I just talked about this exact subject two days ago…. I don’t like fireworks of any sort now!

You were 18 months old, and your sister, Michelle, was 3 1/2. We were at the Monterey, California Beach Fireworks picnic and show by the wharf with our good friends, Gene and Pat (and about 10 other couples and kids), when one of the women in our group lit up a bunch of sparklers and handed them out to all of the kids. You were afraid because a bunch of folks were sounding off fireworks, so I held you on my hip. When she handed you a sparkler, you immediately moved your arm up and down—getting me right under my chin! OUCH! At this point, I remember saying to myself, ‘Don’t drop Denise,’ but I didn’t know if I was on fire or not! It scared both of us because I yelled out loud, ‘S%#$’ (that’s with a capital ‘S’)!  I still have the scar as a reminder of how dangerous sparklers can be.

Judi and I encourage you to proceed this Fourth of July with caution:

  • Do not give children sparklers.
  • Do not use consumer fireworks.
  • Leave fireworks to the professionals.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day celebration!

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