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Fireworks this fourth: still hazardous and illegal in Knox County


About 9,000 people are injured every year in the United States in fireworks related incidents, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

More than two-thirds of those injuries happen around the Independence Day holiday, with some of the injuries resulting in loss of fingers, blindness or even death.

“Fireworks can be extremely dangerous and create serious life-changing situations in an instant,” said Dr. Todd Peters, a Summit Medical Group physician. “The Fourth of July is a great opportunity for us to celebrate our nation’s independence, but we do need to keep those festivities safe.”

The CPSC report shows that children under the age of 15 accounted for 45 percent of all fireworks-related injuries and that 23 percent of the injuries happened to children under the age of 5.

“You should never let children play with fireworks,” Dr. Peters said. “It’s just too dangerous. Bottle rockets can stray off course and throw shrapnel when they explode, and as harmless as sparklers seem, they burn at 1,800 degrees. That can lead to serious burns in an instant for people either handling them or standing nearby.”

According to the safety-based organization Prevent Blindness America, roughly 14 percent of the reported injuries in fireworks accidents are eye-related. That organization recommends that only professionals use fireworks.

Town of Farragut Fire Marshal Dan Johnson reminds residents that fireworks within Knox County and the town are illegal and may not be sold or used.

 

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