With warm weather and family events, the Fourth of July can be a fun time with great memories. Lighting fireworks at home or a campground isn’t legal in many areas, so if you want to use them, check with the local police department first. Keep these common sense safety tips in mind:
● Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are dangerous. If you give kids sparklers, keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800° Fahrenheit— hot enough to melt gold.
● Buy only legal fireworks (these are labeled with the manufacturer’s name and directions; illegal ones are unlabeled), and store them in a cool, dry place.
● Never try to make your own fireworks.
● Always have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents. Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them away. Sparklers should be immersed in sand once they appear out.
● Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.
● Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have your body over them while lighting. Wear eye protection, tie hair back and avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket — the friction could set them off.
● Steer clear of others — fireworks can backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.
● Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks. Some may still explode at any time.
● Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed. Keep pets indoors.
● Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated shooter.”
If someone is hurt by fireworks, immediately come to Granite Falls Municipal Hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t touch or rub it, as this may cause more damage. Also, don’t flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention — eyesight may depend on it. If it’s a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice).
The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children and their families should leave the lighting to professionals and attend public fireworks displays rather than purchase fireworks for home use. Take precautions this summer and your Fourth of July holiday will be a blast!