This year July 4th falls on a Friday and you can bet Missouri’s rivers will be a popular place to spend the weekend. It also means you’ll see plenty of fireworks along the river too. Before your family and friends celebrate, make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety. Fireworks can cause burn injuries and eye injuries in kids and adults. Every 4th of July emergency rooms across the country are filled with firework injuries and fire departments respond to 50,000 fires caused by fireworks.
Fortunately, there are some outfitters and campgrounds offering BBQ and a fireworks display lit by professionals. One such campground is Lucky Clover Resort in Steelville, MO. If however, you find yourself staying at a campground that doesn’t offer a fireworks display, be sure to check with the local police department before your trip. Lighting fireworks isn’t even legal in many residential areas and lighting them in a rural or conservation area could be illegal there too. If you’re staying in an area where lighting fireworks is legal, keep the following safety tips in mind.
Firecrackers, rockets and sparklers are dangerous and children should never play with these. If you give your kids sparklers, be sure to keep them away from your tent and dry, wooded areas. Shooting them in an open field is best. Keep sparklers away from your children’s face, hair and clothing. Some sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C). This temperature is hot enough to melt gold.
If you do plan to shoot fireworks on the river this 4th of July, buy only legal fireworks. Legal fireworks have a manufacturer’s name and directions on them while illegal fireworks don’t have labels or instructions. It’s best to store your fireworks in a cool, dry place. This is virtually impossible when you’re out on the river all day which is why buying them in town a few hours before you plan to shoot them is a better plan rather than storing them at your campsite all day or in your car.
Before you begin shooting your fireworks, be sure to have a bucket of water nearby in the event of an accident. When shooting fireworks, steer clear of others since fireworks occasionally shoot off in the wrong direction or backfire. You should never point or throw a firework at someone, even as a joke. Avoid holding fireworks in your hand or cover a firework with any part of your body while lighting one. If you can, wear eye protection and avoid carrying any fireworks in your pocket. Believe it or not, friction in your pocket from walking can set a firework off.
It’s best to light one firework at a time and not in metal or glass containers. Don’t relight a dud or allow kids to pick up firework pieces after an event. Some fireworks that may appear dormant may still be ignited and explode at any given time. When you’re finished shooting fireworks, soak all of them in a bucket of water before getting rid of them in the trash.
If you or anyone in your family or part is injured by fireworks, report to a doctor or hospital immediately. If anyone has an eye injury, it’s important to avoid touching or rubbing the eye as this may cause even more damage. People are often tempted to flush injured eyes with water or putting ointment on it but it’s better to cut out the bottom of a paper cup and place it around the eye, then get to a doctor or hospital immediately as your eyesight depends on it. If you’ve burned another area of the body, don’t use ice. Remove clothing from the burned area, run cool water over the burn and seek immediate medical attention.