It is the right time for the flare, glare and color of a fireworks spectacle.
In our own community, we have several planned including — but certainly not limited to — Freedom Celebration 2010 hosted by Mount Olive Ministries at Tri-State Exhibition Center. Certainly it will be an exciting event whose highlight comes after dark with the annual fireworks show. It is a breathtaking experience and it is in the hands of professionals.
That’s the key ... professionals.
In many cases, fireworks displays this weekend will keynote family reunions, backyard cookouts and neighborhood gatherings. In most, fireworks will be enjoyed by parents and kids from the comfort of their own yards.
We urge this ... safety at all times, in all practices and with all decisions.
Fireworks displays are breathtaking, but they can also be dangerous when caution, and a proper respect, are not taken by those who handle them. Consider these facts:
• Some 10,000 people nationally are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year for fireworks-related injuries; most involve children.
• The majority of fireworks injuries occur during Fourth of July festivities.
• Burns are the leading type of fireworks-related injuries, followed by lacerations and contusions.
• Tennessee in 2008 saw 221 emergency room visits and 240 people were discharged from hospitals due to fireworks injuries.
• Nineteen of the state’s hospital admissions required short-term stays during the same year, but it is important to remember fireworks-related injuries can cause long-term effects like blindness, hearing loss and permanent scarring.
Just as a reminder and for our readers’ safekeeping, here are a few fireworks safety tips:
• Read and follow all warning and label instructions on your fireworks packages.
• Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks, or to watch a display without adult supervision.
• Use fireworks only outdoors.
• Be aware of other people and their locations before lighting fireworks.
• Always have water handy — via a garden hose, wet towels or in a bucket.
• Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals.
• Never relight a fireworks “dud”; wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in water.
Perhaps this is the most important fireworks reminder: Take nothing for granted. YOU are vulnerable. When handling fireworks, stay aware ... be mindful of others around you ... do not be distracted.
Fireworks are beautiful, but with beauty comes potential — and even lethal — danger.