Practice firework safety this 4th of July

File photoSparklers accounted for nearly half of the total injuries for children less than 5 years of age.

The 4th of July is a time to celebrate and enjoy fireworks. However, the misuse of fireworks can cause injuries and fires.

Rushville’s Assistant Fire Chief Wayne Munson encourages citizens to think about firework safety. He said it is important to keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher handy when lighting fireworks.

On average 280 people go to the emergency room everyday with firework related injuries in the month surrounding the 4th of July, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Statistics published by the commission show hands and fingers are the most injured body parts as a result of fireworks. More than 44 percent of all firework related injuries were burns.

The National Safety Council noted sparklers present a danger to children on its website. Sparklers get hot enough to melt some metals, burning at approximately 2,000 degrees.

The National Fire Protection Association stated sparklers alone account for more than 25 percent of emergency room visits for firework injuries. Sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total injuries for children less than 5 years of age.

The National Safety Council suggested using alternatives like glow sticks or confetti poppers.

The council published additional key firework safety tips:

• Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children should use them only under close adult supervision

• Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol

• Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear

• Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands

• Never light fireworks indoors

• Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material

• Never point or throw fireworks at another person

• Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting

• Never ignite devices in a container

• Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks, douse it with water

• Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding

• Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire

• Never use illegal fireworks

The National Safety Council says the best way to be safe on July 4th is to grab a blanket and a patch of lawn and attend a fireworks show managed by experts.

Contact: kraig.younts@rushvillerepublican.com

July 4th local events

• 33rd Annual Breakfast Optimist Club 4th of July Car Show – Registration for the car show will begin at 8 a.m. Awards will be given out at 3 p.m.

• Rushville’s 4th of July Parade – Line up for the parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Perkins Street and Pizza King parking lot.

• 2nd Annual Main Street Christian Church Block Party- The party will begin at 11 a.m. and last until 2 p.m.

• The Rush County Historical Society Open House will be held noon to 3 p.m. July 4 at 619 North Perkins Street, Rushville, IN 46173.

• TQ Midget Races – Races will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Rush County Fairgrounds.

• Local Fireworks Show – The local fireworks show will start shortly after sunset behind Rushville Elementary School. Donations are still being accepted for the show.