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Fireworks, Keep the Kids Safe This Year in St. Louis, Missouri!
The Fourth of July holiday is always synonymous with barbeque, cold drinks and fireworks. It is a great holiday for families and friends to celebrate being together and our independence. Many cities and towns ordinances about shooting off fireworks and we like to take the opportunity to talk about firework safety in general and firework safety relating to children specifically. I do remember the days when I was a young teen and my friends and I would have bottle rocket fights—this is one of the most unsafe things I did as a youngster, but many thought little of it at the time. I believe I may have a scar or two from those escapades and I absolutely do not want that for my child. Just because an action is something “we used to do as kids” does not mean it is a good idea, nor is it a rite of passage for children to go through in order to better leaders or risk takers!
Operating fireworks is fun and dangerous for small children. It is generally children that are most fascinated with fireworks but close parental or adult supervision is absolutely required. My four year old likes fireworks and I’m sure she would not have any fear about setting them off. I fear for her though because of her youth and naivety. I don’t want being a “good guy” and allowing her to shoot off fireworks to be the reason for a neglectful injury. There are some helpful safety rules to make sure your celebration is as accident-free as possible.
If you are planning a home firework display, make sure you and your children wear protective eyewear, clear the area of flammable materials and maintain a safe distance from fireworks when they go off!
Also, you should double check to see if there is a current burn ban in your community that may prohibit use of fireworks.
Due to the extremely dry conditions in Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky right now, burn bans may be active throughout the Midwest. In addition, temperatures are expected to be extremely high with no rain in the near future.
Of the 9,000 fireworks related injuries each year, 21 percent are eye injuries and more than half of the victims are young children or teenagers.
Eye injuries are a common injury for children and adults, but especially children. Children are easily injured because one, they are shorter and closer to the firework. Two, children are more inexperienced in general and specifically with fire.
Examples I read about include: A 6-year-old child’s eye was severely burned after he lit an M-80 firework that he found in his home. He called 911 and underwent immediate cornea transplant and lens replacement, and required several more eye surgeries.
After a man lit a smoke bomb that created colored smoke, his 4-year old son leaned in to get a closer look. Tar from the smoke bomb wick shot into the boy’s eye, severely injuring his eye.
Keith A Bourgeosis, M.D. President of the Texas Ophthalmological Association said, “Unfortunately, ophthalmologist see a lot of patients with eye injures this time each year because people forget that fireworks, while fun, are also dangerous….Kids are especially vulnerable to fireworks hazards”.
In addition to eye injuries, burns are common when young teenagers and children play with fireworks. Even sparklers are dangerous. Sparklers are usually given to the smallest children because they seem less dangerous, but sparklers typically burn at 1,200 degrees and cause 27 percent of all fireworks injures, including third degree burns. Bottle rockets cause some of the most serious eye injuries. Errant bottle rockets can injure bystanders and cause eye lid lacerations, corneal abrasions, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage, rupture of the eyeball, and complete blindness. One in every six fireworks-related eye injuries results in permanent vision loss or blindness.
So, watch the city or county firework show and never let children set off fireworks of any type!
All of us should view county and city firework shows from at least 500 feet away
Leave lighting fireworks to the trained professionals.
The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays as it is always hot, lots of great food and drinks and family.
Keep safe, leave the fireworks to professionals and enjoy your holiday!!
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On rare occasions, fireworks are made improperly which can cause serious burn injuries, however, you must be sure that you use fireworks specifically the way they are designed and follow the directions closely. If you are injured by a firework and you have not operated according to the directions, then any product liability case is doubtful. So, lower your odds of coming across a faulty firework by using it correctly or not using them all together. If you must shoot fireworks, make certain an adult or parent closely supervises all children involved. If you have been injured in an accident and have questions regarding your rights, call us at 1(800)685-3302 for a free consultation. At The Cagle Law Firm, we are agressive personal injuries represtenting the seriously injured.
The Tribune, 7/2/12 http://ourtribune.com/article.php?id=13800