Ooooh! Ahhhh! Ooops!

It’s that time again. Tomorrow, July 4 is the day we celebrate our freedom; the independence of our nation; the 242nd anniversary of its birth. Three cheers for the USA and a great big Happy Birthday! There will be celebrations of all kinds; parades, concerts, family get-togethers, barbecues, sporting events and fireworks.

Practically synonymous with the Fourth of July, fireworks have long been a part of our Independence Day celebrations. As far back as 1777, Philadelphia put together a full day of festivities that included a parade, dinner, music, musket salutes and fireworks.

Fireworks are magical; explosions of bright colors, shapes and sounds lighting up the night sky as young and old alike watch in awe. They are the grand finale for the day’s celebrations. Fireworks are also dangerous. There you have it. The other shoe just dropped.

The fact that fireworks hold such a high risk for serious burns, fires, eye injuries and more, groups like the National Safety Council and the National Fire Protection Association recommend people to avoid consumer fireworks altogether and just enjoy the public displays put on by professionals.

Fact is that in 2017, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 12,900 people for firework related injuries; eight people lost their lives in firework incidents. Fireworks start more than 10,000 fires per year with an estimated $43 million in direct property damage. It’s enough to put a little tarnish on the magic don’t you think? But it doesn’t have to –JUST BE SMART AND BE SAFE! For example, did you know that a sparkler burns at a temperature of around 2,000° F? That’s enough to cause third-degree burns. A sparkler. And please, please keep pets safe. More pets run away on July 4th than any other day of the year. They bolt from fear of fireworks and all the noise. Keep them inside and safe.

A celebration is no time to cut corners on safety. Remember, it’s only fun until someone gets hurt. Leave things to the professionals.

And, amidst all the festivities, please take a few minutes to remember the real reason we celebrate this day – our freedom and all of those who fought and still fight to preserve it.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Posted by MJ Thomas

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