Holidays are the best: there is good food, good peeps and fun memories to be had, and the 4th of July is no exception. Add some fireworks, booze and debauchery into the mix, and you have the recipe for some serious amusement. In my opinion, the 4th of July is the best. Every year (that I have been in Springfield, Mo for Independence day), we have had a little ritual. We started by watching the 4th of July parade in downtown Springfield, followed by a trip to my grandfather and Uncle Rex’s grave (they both served) followed by a backyard BBQ with friends and family.
I remember the first (and last) time my father ever let me light a firecracker. We were in Marshfield visiting my cousins and family, and I must have been eight or nine years old. I had been bugging my dad all evening to let me light one of the fireworks and, thanks to my persistence, he finally gave in. My uncles, aunties, cousins, sisters and parents were all seated on the lawn with drinks and snacks eagerly awaiting the continuation of the festive light show.
My mother was worried and told me to run back as fast as possible as soon as the fuse was lit… so I did just that: I lit the fuse, and in a fury, I rushed as far back as possible. As I was running, I heard shouts and laughter from my family and I turned just in time to see that the firework had fallen over and was aimed right at the line of onlookers! Chairs tumbled, drinks spilled and as the firework shot into our makeshift open-air theater, I realized that I never wanted to set off another firework ever again. I was so embarrassed. Luckily no one was injured, and while I am grateful I have never lived that experience down.
My family was lucky, and though I was abashed at the scenario, now that I have a little of my own, I understand why my mother was always the seeming worry-wart. In the words of a funny internet meme I recently happened upon, it’s all shits and giggles until someone giggles and shits – or in this case, until someone gets hurt.
The vast majority of injuries on Independence day are firework injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are an average 230 fireworks-related injuries near and on the 4th of July, the majority being on hands, fingers and arms.
Stay Safe Around Fireworks this 4th of July
According to American Red Cross, it is best if people are at least 500 feet away from where the fireworks are being set off. Even sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees farenheight and can cause injuries to children. Your safest bet is to attend a public firework show that is put on by professionals, but if you can’t resist setting off a few bottle rockets and roman candles with your pals, keep these tips in mind:
- Keep a bucket of water close by as a precaution.
- Ensure that the person who is lighting the firecrackers are wearing eye protection.
- Never point a firework at someone, an animal, a vehicle or a home.
- Keep small children and animals far away from the fireworks, and ensure that there is adult supervision with sparklers, snakes and the like.
- Never attempt to relight a “dud”.
- Always follow the instructions on the firework package.
- Keep a first aid kit nearby in case of an accident.
- Don’t drink and “firework” – if you are drinking, find someone sober to light the fireworks.
A successful holiday is one where no one is injured, so keep safe this 4th of July by drinking responsibly and practicing safe firework-ing.
Wishing you a fun-filled holiday!
WeDames aims to highlight and celebrate women in Springfield, Mo regardless if they are a stay-at-home-mom, a CEO of a business or a student still discovering their career path. Aside from being an online women’s magazine and women’s community, we love bringing women together for no other reason than to have fun. Part of our women’s networking includes hosting women-only events in and around Springfield. We can leave the men in their men-caves while we go out and play together! Ladies’ night out is one of many events that we hold, and is really just an excuse for us to get dolled up, look our best and hang out and meet with other awesome women in Springfield, Mo.
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