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Fireworks are illegal in Long Beach, and dangerous wherever they are ignited. Those are simple facts, yet every year people take needless risks when they celebrate the Fourth of July. Even so-called Safe and Sane fireworks and sparklers can be harmful.
Here’s a sobering reminder from the U.S. Government about the dangers of fireworks:
- U.S. hospitals treated more than 9,500 fireworks-related injuries in 2004
- Half of all those fireworks injuries happened to children under 15
- Sparklers accounted for the most injuries (1,500), and accounted for half the injuries to children under 5
- Firecrackers accounted for 1,000 injuries
- The most injured body parts were hands (1,800 emergency room visits), eyes (1,200 visits) and the head/face/ear region (1,000 visits)
- About 66 percent of all injuries were burns.
It’s amazing how many of these needless injuries could have been prevented.
Yet the National Council on Fireworks Safety does have some promising news. For the past several years, there has been a decreasing trend in the fireworks injury rates. A major reason has been the increasing popularity of professional fireworks shows. Please check your local newspaper for times and locations, and leave fireworks shows to the professionals. They’re both safe and amazing.
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