Many of us are preparing to celebrate our nation’s independence this week. Summer weather, cooking on the grill and time with family and friends are the perfect ingredients for a memorable day. In 1776 when we first celebrated this day and the signing of the Declaration of Independence a mere 2. 5 million people lived in ths country. (Historical Statistics for the US). This year an estimated 311.7 million people will celebrate July Fourth! (www.census.gov)
During the weeks before and after July fourth there are many occasions to watch firework displays or at the very least hear them from a distance. While fireworks related injuries have decreased greatly in recent years, the National Council on Fireworks Safety (NCFS) estimates that hospitals still see about 7,000 fireworks related injuries every year. Children under the age of 15 account for forty percent of these injuries.
Use these tips from the NCFS to keep yourself and your family safe this Fourth of July
• Use fireworks outdoors only
• Always have a hose or a bucket of water handy
• Follow directions, and use fireworks only as intended
• Don’t relight “dud” fireworks. Soak them in water before disposing of them.
• Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter, and the shooter should wear safety goggles.
• Never drink alcohol while setting off fireworks.
• Do not give sparklers to children under the age of 12.
• Follow local laws, and do not use illegal or homemade fireworks.
Enjoy the beauty of fireworks, and celebrate our independence, while staying safe. Have a great holiday!