Our Opinion: Fireworks ignite safety issues

News Tribune editorial

A 10-year-old St. Louis boy was scheduled for surgery earlier this week after losing four fingers in a fireworks accident.

Sadly, it sometimes takes a personal ordeal such as this to remind us of the importance of fireworks safety.

The legal issues regarding fireworks have boundaries; for example, discharging fireworks is prohibited in Jefferson City.

But safety issues respect no boundaries. Mishandled fireworks may cause blindness, burns and other injuries, regardless of location or legalities.

The safe approach is for people discharging fireworks to respect that they are igniting explosive devices of varying magnitudes.

That means:

• Never point projectiles near structures or people.

• Supervise children at all times where fireworks are being discharged. Never allow children to discharge fireworks or handle sparklers, which can cause burns.

• Avoid handling or attempting to relight duds for malfunctioning fireworks.

• Have water nearby in case of a fire or an accident.

• Avoid handling fireworks while intoxicated or otherwise impaired.

According to the National Council on Fireworks Safety, “using consumer fireworks on our nation’s birthday is as American as apple pie, backyard barbecues and parades on Main Street. And it is equally safe if a few common sense rules are followed ...”

Common sense means obeying applicable laws and following safety suggestions.

Celebrate safety this Fourth of July.

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