Posted on Jul 06, 2010
Independence Day has always been a family favorite, and although our most recent one has passed, this pleasant summer holiday does not come without its share of consequences. 

Fireworks are and will forever be a major safety concern to all parents.  In many states fireworks are banned unless ignited by licensed professionals.  But even the smallest fireworks can cause irreparable amounts of damage.  Most recently, a child-favorite, sparklers, have been targeted for their dangerous consequences. 

This past weekend, a man from Blue Springs was playing around with sparklers.  Allegedly, he was trying to construct a "sparkler bomb."  These bombs consist of nothing more than sparklers being tied together with electrical tape and then lit on fire with another sparkler.  The explosion is painfully loud, and the neighbor of the man who made the bomb claimed that he had never heard a firework louder than that one.  But it was just a bunch of sparklers. 

No matter.  Sparklers are fireworks.  The man who was fooling around with them had his hand blown off of his body.  He also may be losing the ability to see in one of his eyes, but currently he is still able to identify some colors.  And because this horrible accident injured a grown man, can you imagine what it would have done to a small child?

Experts say that the metal sparklers are the worst because they reach the hottest temperatures.  It is important for parents to keep an extinguisher near by.  The easiest way to do this is to have a bucket of water nearby at all times.  Make sure your children place their burnt out sparklers in the bucket to make sure they are not picked up off the ground.  Children can forget that even burnt out sparklers are still hot.  Also, hot sparklers can cause fires in dry areas. 

Snakes, caps, and sparklers are the only fireworks that are still legal in our neighbor state, Iowa.  But even the Iowans are being reminded to take caution.  The city of Council Bluffs, Iowa provided its citizens with the following fast facts to help prevent firework accidents:

-In 2008, 22,500 fires were started because of fireworks
-$42 million worth in damage
-7,000 were injured, 90% by legal fireworks
-3 were killed

Many parents think that the worst is over, when in fact, fireworks stands will be open for some time to come.  And children, especially rebellious adolescents will be looking for ways to entertain themselves in the middle of a long summer.  So long as it is summer, you should be wary of fireworks. 

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