Feel like a trip to the emergency room? Try handling fireworks, because there's a good chance by doing so you could find yourself being treated at the hospital.
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 240 people, on average, every day, visit the ER with a fireworks-related injury in the month around the July 4 holiday.
That statistic is according to a study of fireworks injuries, conducted by the CPSC, from June 21 to July 21, 2013. All told, 65 percent of reported fireworks injuries during 2013, occurred around that July 4 timeframe.
The majority of injuries were to the hand, fingers, eyes, head, face and ears, and 62 percent of injuries were due to burns.
Think about this: There are many people, parents obviously, who believe it's OK, safety-wise, for young children to run and play with sparklers. But it's not.
Yes, sparklers are readily available from merchants all throughout the area, the cost is minuscule, and children seem to love them. But of all reported fireworks-related injuries, sparklers top the list - 31 percent of all injuries are due to sparklers.
Maybe that should make parents and other adults think twice about a young child holding sparklers. The CPSC has reported that sparklers burn at temperatures up to 2,000 degrees, and can get hot enough to melt some metals.
Fireworks, at any level, are dangerous. Plus there are state laws prohibiting the consumer use of them.
This year, instead of setting off illegal fireworks in a backyard, we urge all to put safety first and opt for a professional display. There are many public fireworks displays to choose from locally.
Don't let July 4 turn into a tragic event. This should be a time to celebrate our nation's birthday and visit with family and friends - not make a trip to the local ER.