Keeping your Fourth a celebration, not a tragedy - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Keeping your Fourth a celebration, not a tragedy

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Fireworks are a traditional part of our celebration of Independence Day on the Fourth of July. In fact, there are a number of fireworks displays planned for Thursday night and over the weekend where you can take the whole family and enjoy this great American tradition.

Unfortunately, the celebrating is often ruined when careless and inappropriate use of fireworks results in injuries.

Fireworks are lots of fun when everything goes off as planned, but according to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, 8,500 people will be treated this Fourth of July for fireworks-related injuries.

Seven out of every 100 people hurt from fireworks are hospitalized. The estimated cost of fireworks-related injuries in the US is $100 million. The most frequently hurt are boys 10 to 14 years old. More than 40-percent of those are under 14.

Those most often and most seriously hurt by fireworks are the one lighting the fireworks, not bystanders or people just watching.

About two-thirds of all fireworks related injuries are caused by what are called Class C fireworks or firecrackers, bottle rockets, roman candles, and sparklers.

Lanny Fowler is just like most American males. He grew up popping his share of fireworks on the Fourth of July and he says making sure kids are supervised is extremely important.

"It's one thing to get a finger popped or something else, but you only have two eyes," Fowler added, who added to wear eye protection.

Steve Ross is a director for FOX13 News but has also been a licensed pyro assistant and has helped produce major fireworks displays. He says leave it to the pros.

"Anybody can make a mistake regardless of how much training they have had," Ross said. "So for the amateur fireworks enthusiast, the key thing is to make sure you're taking as many precautions as possible."

So, have a happy Fourth of July, but keep it safe. And whatever you do don't say, "hey everybody watch this," and then do something really stupid.

Fireworks injuries flood The MED every Fourth

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