Imagine a dark satin skyline laced with vibrant, glowing fireworks coupled with explosive thunder.
WAYNESVILLE – Imagine a dark satin skyline laced with vibrant, glowing fireworks coupled with explosive thunder.
That's Independence Day for most Pulaski County citizens, but for approximately 9,600 families in the U.S. annually, those same fireworks resulted in an injury.
In Columbia, Mo., a University Hospital report suggests two-thirds of injuries occurring in 2011 took place within a month of July 4, one-third of which involved children younger than 19.
"Being vigilant with fireworks is especially important around children," Jeffrey Coughenour, a surgeon at the hospital's Trauma Center, said. "Kids usually don't understand the risks and dangers with fireworks, so they can be more prone to injury."
According to the National Fire Protection Association, children ages 5 through 19 accounted for one-fourth of all fireworks injuries in 2012.
Some fireworks, such as sparklers, seem harmless but, burning at nearly 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, sparklers accounted for 17 percent of injuries in 2011.
Because of the combination of an open flame or amber and fuse, burn injuries are the most common associated with fireworks.
Coughenour gave specific directions for treating burn injuries – unless severe – at home.
"If you are burned, you should carefully wash the wound and dress it in a clean, dry bandage," he said. "If you have any concern about the severity of the injury, it's important to see a physician — especially for injuries to sensitive areas, such as the face and hands."
Cooling a burn wound with cold tap water, not ice or ice water, then cleaning the wound and wrapping it with a bandage is the suggested home treatment for minor injuries. If a burn is larger than the size of your palm, if you experience discomfort during home treatment, or if the burn occurs to the hands, feet or face, Coughenour suggests contacting emergency services.
Area fireworks tents, including locally owned and operated Thunder Mountain near Hidden Valley Plaza in St. Robert, have taken precautions to prevent fireworks from landing in the wrong hands. Despite having more than 400 Black Cat brand fireworks, Wanda Creach, the tent's operator, said there are children's fireworks packages available, which include sparklers, snappers, colored glow worms, smoke balls and champagne poppers.
"If you come into our tent we have everything categorized," Creach said. "We even have our own section for the youth. If Mom and Dad come in with the kids, we can say, 'Hey, this is our area for children.'"
Because of the spring's rainy downpour, Creach said business is much better than a year ago. Still, she suggests all customers follow one simple guideline.
"Read the directions," Creach explained. "You have people who hold fireworks in their hand and they're not designed for that. If you read the directions, you will have a fun, yet safe holiday."
Those living outside city limits have no fireworks restrictions, but each area city has adopted its own policy for discharging fireworks according to Pulaski County Fireworks Discharge Policy:
Crocker – Within city limits residents can discharge fireworks June 28 and 29 from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m.; June 30 through July 3 from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.; July 4 from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m.; July 5 from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. The city's fireworks show will take place June 29 at Crocker City Park at 6 p.m.
Dixon – Fireworks are allowed to be discharged only from July 4 through 6 until midnight.
Fort Leonard Wood – A public fireworks display will take place at Gammon Field on July 4 at 3 p.m. Soldiers are not permitted to discharge fireworks on the military base.
Richland – Residents may discharge fireworks between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. July 3; 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. July 4; 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. July 5. Shady Dell Park will display a fireworks show Saturday July 6.
St. Robert – Residents may discharge fireworks from Sunday June 30 through July 5 from 8 a.m. until 11:59 p.m.
Waynesville – From 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. July 4, residents may discharge fireworks.
·Never leave children unsupervised around fireworks.
·Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
·Never tamper or experiment with fireworks.
·Wear protective eyewear.
·Only use fireworks outdoors.
·Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from houses, dry leaves and trees.
·Light fireworks one at a time, and keep a safe distance from them.
·Don't use matches, cigarettes or lighters to light fireworks directly. Use punk sticks.
·Never put any part of your body over lit fireworks.
·Never light fireworks in your hand.
·Always keep garden hose or bucket of water nearby.
·Never re-light or pick up fireworks that didn't fully ignite. Douse them in water and soak them for 15 to 20 minutes before disposing of them.