Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth, Be Careful

Tis the season..."NY Man Blows Arm Off with Fireworks". This headline was featured in today's Washington Post. It turns out 36 year old Eric Smith was using a 3 foot metal tube to shoot mortars above his Islip Terrace, NY home yesterday. He didn't get out of the way fast enough. The mortar took his arm off at the shoulder. His neighbors iced the severed arm and took it with them and him to the hospital. Reattachment is planned. OMG.

In 2008, 7,000 people were injured as a result of fireworks chicanery. Luckily only seven died. Most of these incidents occurred from June 20th through July 20th. The Fourth of July is special, but New's Years Eve cannot be ignored. Hospital emergency rooms anticipate an uptick in hand, finger and leg injuries. Besides the trauma inflicted by the explosions, burns are also prevalent. 40% of injuries occur in children under 15! And 58% occur in under 20 year olds. Fires ignited by the explosive devices are also problematic. Head, face and eye injuries are a particularly vexing problem.

There is no doubt that there will be a repeat of fireworks related injuries and damages this July 4th. These injuries are essentially unavoidable. The attractive danger fireworks represent are too much to resist. The best a person can do is to take personal responsibility. Fireworks are best left in the hands of professionals. Do not purchase fireworks or engage in their detonation. Most important, teach you children about the inherent dangers associated with fireworks. So, on this day of celebration, go out and watch a fireworks display put on by those who know how to do it. There's really not much more as awe inspiring as these colorful, booming displays. Happy Fourth!

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