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Fireworks Are Pretty... Hot Stuff

fireworks danger!Fireworks are hot stuff - but not the kind you want to get near.

If you think about it, playing with fireworks is about the same thing as playing with a wild lion... fun to watch at the circus but pretty dangerous to try on your own. In the hands of trained professionals who know what they are doing, the explosions are beautiful, but when kids get too close the results are not so spectacular.

Everyone either knows someone or has heard about someone who wound up with a blister from a small firecracker going off too soon or touching a sparkler while it was still burning hot. What kids don't know is that those are the lucky ones. Thousands of kids go to hospital emergency rooms with injuries from fireworks every year. Most injuries occur around the Fourth of July.

Fireworks injuries can be pretty gross - like losing your eyes or hands or fingers.

Here are some kids' stories - every one of them true.

  • "Fireworks injuries can be pretty gross ..."

    A 12 year-old, celebrating his team's basketball championship, lost an eye when he and his friends set off fireworks. He now wears a glass eye.

  • A 7 year-old boy lost half his left hand when he ignited an M-80 firework found hidden in a family bedroom. The M-80 exploded in the boy's hand.

  • An 8 year-old girl was badly burned on her leg when a sparkler ignited her dress.

  • Three teenage boys shot a Roman Candle firework into a large wooded area. Fourteen acres burned before the fire was extinguished.

  • Two boys, 8 and 10, were seriously burned on their arms when a bottle rocket exploded in their garage. The garage and a car were totally destroyed.

  • An 8 year-old boy lost three fingers after igniting an M-80 firework on the kitchen stove. The victim was on his way outside when the device exploded in his hand.

The stories get worse. Kids have died.

  • A 12 year-old girl in San Antonio, Texas was killed when a bottle rocket, set off by a 6 year-old neighbor, struck her in the head.

  • A 17 year-old boy from Shawano, Wisconsin, was playing with a fireworks device that exploded - and killed him.

  • An 8 year-old boy from Selmer, Tennessee was killed when he and his brother played with fireworks in their grandmother's yard

There are tons of stories like these - all sad, but true. So, stay away from the hot stuff. It's a lot cooler just to watch and enjoy!

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

More about fireworks safety around the Web:

National Council on Fireworks Safety

Texas Fireworks Safety

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