Have a happy, and safe, Fourth of July

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times

“It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

— John Adams, on how Independence Day should be celebrated

Americans have found many ways of celebrating this nation’s independence, but the one highlight, for many, is fireworks or, as President Adams called them, illuminations.

Many communities, New Prague included, have their own fireworks show, and thousands will gather in the area of the fireworks on Tuesday evening (July 3) to celebrate this most American of holidays.

Many others will choose to celebrate with their own fireworks display. Emergency rooms across the country will be ready for those who are careless in using fireworks.

Here are some tips from the American College of Emergency Physicians:

• Avoid purchasing or using illegal fireworks. Do not attempt to make your own.

• Read warning labels and follow all instructions. Do not use fireworks in any way other than suggested on the label.

• Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher on hand.

• Light fireworks one at a time.

• Dispose of all fireworks properly. Soak them all in water before throwing them away.

• Do not light fireworks indoors or near other objects.

• Avoid burns or other accidents by not standing or crouching over fireworks when trying to light the fuse. Immediately back up to a safe distance after you light it.

• Do not point or throw fireworks at another person.

• Do not re-light a malfunctioning “dud” or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.

• Dress appropriately. Loose fitting clothes could be a fire hazard or become tangled or caught.

• Setting off fireworks in glass or metal containers can create fragments that can cause severe injury.

Emergency physicians strongly encourage people to leave fireworks to the professionals. If fireworks are legal in your area, avoid using them near residential areas.

Children should never play with fireworks or sparklers and older children should always be supervised. If you are drinking alcohol, please do not handle fireworks or supervise others who may rely on you if an emergency occurs.

We hope everyone has an enjoyable, and safe, Independence Day holiday.

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