Just because the Affordable Care Act will make insurance more affordable and available, doesn’t mean people should start taking unnecessary risks. With Fourth of July here, and firework shows galore, it is important that we all celebrate safely.
At least 87 Minnesotans were injured last year, and that number could be higher. Only 85% of hospitals report firework injuries and sometimes people don’t seek help. Not only are injuries a problem, but also property damage. Approximately $200,000 worth of property damage occurs every year.
The culprit seems to be irresponsibility. Here are some startling facts about the causes of firework-related injury:
- “Use of illegal or professional-grade fireworks by untrained amateurs.
- Use by intoxicated people.
- Use other than as directed, for example, releasing a bottle rocket or Roman candle by hand instead of from the ground.
- Unsupervised use or accidental contact by children.”
Unsurprisingly, the largest two groups to be effected are people between the ages of 10-19 and 20-29. And 72% of the injured are men and boys. And 84%, nationally, injure themselves using commercially available fireworks. Even sparklers, which burn at 1,200 degrees, can cause injury if not handled with care.
What can you do? The Minnesota Safety Council recommends:
- "Attend only community-sanctioned events. Many communities hold fireworks displays sponsored by the fire department or other safety agency.
- Establish a safe viewing area. The safest place to sit is at least 500 feet away from the staging area."
In short: celebrate your Fourth of July responsibly.