When I was a kid, I was terrified of handling fireworks, because my Mom told me the story of Randy*, the boy who blew his thumb off.

*name changed 

Randy was an older boy, who didn't listen and didn't mind, and didn't treat other people very well. He was aiming a bottle rocket at someone else, but positioned it in his hand wrong, then...BAM. Utter commotion. Parents panicking. The sight of blood. A towel soaked in blood. A screamed refrain... he blew his thumb off, he blew his thumb off!

And that's why I never handled a firework myself... until my late teens. I still won't light an artillery shell. But I'll admit I've held Roman Candles and shot them into the night sky. It's not the best idea, that's for sure.

Photo by Zoritsa Valova on Unsplash
Photo by Zoritsa Valova on Unsplash

We all know what the most dangerous fireworks can do- they can and do kill people every year. Last year, eleven people died from fireworks-related injuries, and over 10,000 were treated in ERs. That's quite a few causalities. But we know the risks, right?

What you might not know is that 1,100 of those injuries were from sparklers. Yup, simple sparklers that even I, the scared kid, would play with every 4th. Here's the thing, sparklers can burn at over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. If a child holds it incorrectly or drops it on themselves or someone else, that can obviously cause a severe burn.

By all means, enjoy your fireworks. Just remember that every firework, even the most tame ones, can cause an injury. Don't let small children hold them, and instruct older children exactly how to handle them.

Be Safe. Don't Be a Randy.

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