It's hard to believe the Fourth of July is almost here. Where has 2013 gone? It seems like we just finished talking about fireworks at Christmas. The Fourth of July is a special time for everybody, especially kids with their fireworks.

Great memories of the holiday are created in many ways, including fireworks. Obviously, if they aren't handled and patrolled, the fun can quickly turn into a catastrophe. Lighting fireworks at home or residential areas are illegal in some areas. It is better to check with the authorities than suffer unneeded embarrassment or legal complications.



FIREWORKS USE FACTS

• The National Fire Protection Association estimates that fire departments respond to over 50,000 fires each year resulting from fireworks use.

• The tip of a sparkler can burn up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (982 degrees Celsius).

• Glass burns at 900 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wood burns at 575 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cakes bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Risks of Injury

- Highest is kids from 5-19 years

- Adults from 25-44 years

- 90 percent of emergency room fireworks injuries involve fireworks consumers are permitted to use.

SAFETY TIPS FOR KIDS

Kids should never play with fireworks! Firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are way too dangerous. If you do give sparklers to kids, make sure that they burn them outside, keeping them away from their face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit - hot enough to melt gold.

• Buy only legal fireworks that have the label with the manufacturer's name and user instructions. Illegal fireworks are most always unlabeled. Some of their names are M-80, M100, blockbuster, or quarterpounder. These types were banned in 1966, but still account for many fireworks injuries.

• Do not attempt to make your own fireworks.

• Always use fireworks outside and keep a bucket of water close buy and a hose, in case of an accident.

• Stay clear of other folks. Sometimes fireworks will backfire or shoot in the wrong direction.

• Never point them at another person as a joke or in jest!

• Light one item at a time and not in a glass or metal container. Never try to relight a "dud."

• Don't allow kids to pick up ìspentî fireworks after an event. They could still be lighted.

• Soak "spent" fireworks in a bucket of water before putting them in the trash.

• Pets have sensitive ears and can become easily upset or stressed out when experiencing sudden loud noises. It is a wise idea to put your pets inside and away from the noise area.

• Always have an adult present when shooting fireworks.

• Point fireworks away from homes and buildings-keep away from flammable material areas. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that fire departments respond to over 50,000 fires each year resulting from fireworks use.

• Don't hold them in your hand.

HEALTH SAFETY TIPS

• If an eye injury occurs- don't allow the child to rub it. It could cause more damage. Don't flush it with water. Cut out the bottom of a paper cup and place the round disc over the injured eye and seek medical attention.

• For a burn, remove the clothing in the burned area and run cool, not cold water or ice over the affected area and call your doctor.