Independence Day is a favorite summer holiday in Kansas City. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to catch the spectacular display at Berkley Park. However, many in Missouri and Kansas choose to celebrate with their own backyard fireworks show.
Last year, 8,800 Americans were treated in emergency rooms for serious injury caused by fireworks. About 67 percent of those treated (5,900) were injured during the one-month period surrounding the Fourth of July. More half of the injuries (54%) were sustained by children and young adults, particularly those between the ages of five and fifteen.
In 2007, 416 people were treated for fireworks injuries in Missouri.
Fireworks also cause an estimated 22,500 fires each year that result in about $42 million in property damage.
The Missouri fire marshal is already investigating two firework related incidents that occurred last week. In Camden County, a man suffered serious hand injuries after his consumer fireworks exploded. A woman in Raytown was critically injured after a fireworks explosion in a home. Two others were less seriously injured in that explosion.
If you are doing your own fireworks display, the Kansas City personal injury attorneys at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys offer these safety tips:
Purchase your fireworks from a licensed retailer.
Use fireworks only under adult supervision.
Appoint one adult to be in charge.  Make sure that adult is familiar with and knows the hazards of each firework used.
Read the labels and follow directions carefully.
Wear eye protection and ear plugs when handling fireworks.
Tie back hair and avoid loose clothing.
Don’t lean over the fireworks.
Light only one firework at a time.
Do not relight a firework that has malfunctioned.
Appoint an adult to keep young children away from fireworks.
Never throw or point a firework at another person.
Do not carry fireworks in your pocket.
Never light fireworks indoors.
Keep a bucket of water nearby to treat burns or put out fires.
If a burn occurs, run cold water over the burn for several minutes.  Get medical attention.
After burning fireworks or sparklers, place the leftovers in a bucket of cold water andthen dispose in the garbage when cold and soaked.
Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.  Do not save for next year.
Remember, even professional firework displays can be dangerous.

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James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.