Friday, July 1, 2011

Our Family's Fourth of July: Making Memories and Keeping it Safe

I'm a huge fan of holidays - and extremely sentimental about family traditions and creating memories. My children are a bit let down about the fact that New York doesn't allow you to shoot off your own fireworks like South Carolina does. So, this year we will again go see the fireworks (we were in New York last year, too, but in South Carolina/North Carolina the three years prior). We had too much fun shooting fireworks in our yard while we lived in the south...but, I can say that there were some very close calls that were scary. One firework shot right past me, wayyyyy too close for comfort! (I actually felt the "air blast" from it)

I am sure that they will ask the question again, "Can we do our own fireworks?" about five hundred more times before the weekend is over...and the answer won't change, but I bet we'll get our hands on some of those "poppers" and some sparklers...I think those are legal. :)

With all that said, I'm hoping that everyone has a SAFE and happy Fourth of July. And, speaking of safety, I'm going to put my little two cents in...

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports:

"There were reports of three fireworks-related deaths and an estimated 8,600 hospital emergency room treated injuries in 2010. In 2009, CPSC had reports of two deaths and an estimated 8,800 injuries. In 2008, CPSC had reports of seven deaths and an estimated 7,000 injuries."

Many of these injury statistics include children!

If you live in a state where fireworks are legal, please be careful around the children! Yes, fireworks are "cool" and intriguing, but as we all know, they are also dangerous! Keep a close eye on the children and be sure to keep the kids at a good distance away from where you are shooting the fireworks. Additionally, be sure that you are shooting away from the people who are watching.

Do not. Do not. Do not re-light a firework!

Sparklers can be dangerous, too. Did you know that fireworks "burn at temperatures of about 2000 degrees"? (According to the CPSC). Please do not let your kids do sparklers alone!

However fun it may be, it's not smart to shoot off fireworks from a glass or metal container. Ever heard of shrapnel? I hope that creates a visual for you...

Keep a container or bucket of water nearby, just in case you need it. It's better to be safe than sorry, right?

Know what types of fireworks you are shooting and how they work. Do they shoot straight up? Sideways? In circles? Then, you can plan on clearing the area that it will shoot in and avoid trees, wires, etc. In the same breath, don't expect every firework to react the way it is supposed to. We have had many-a firework do things that we never expected! Be prepared for anything!

Finally, don't let your kids shoot fireworks by themselves and ask your children who they will be with and where they will be going if they are not going to be with you on the Fourth of July. If they are planning to "do" fireworks with friends, be sure to check if there will be an adult with them...better yet, tell your kids to bring the fireworks and their friends to you...then you can ensure their safety. :)

Please have a safe and happy Fourth of July, enjoy your family and make some good memories! We plan to cook out on the BBQ, play in the backyard, head out to a pretty fireworks display, celebrate summer and make our own memories!

How do you plan to make memories this Fourth of July???

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