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Fireworks Killed a 12 Year Old Boy
Antonio Braden, 12, was killed when an apparently damaged "exploding artillery" firework didn't work like it should have. He was holding it while a friend was trying to light it. Antonio was playing with bottle rockets and Roman candles. He was fetching one of the unexploded shells that another boy had picked up. His friend told police that Antonio was holding that shell for another boy to light and the shell made a strange noise. After running away from the shell, he collapsed after running about 30 feet.
Do You see the same thing I see? In that first paragraph, find the word "was". It appears six different times. Dictionary .com says that it is a verb, used in the past tense. "Was". You can also say that it might as well say "will never be."
This coming weekend, the United States celebrates the Fourth of July holiday. It is also referred to as Independence Day. Wikipedia simply says that is a federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It is also when fireworks cause hundreds of injuries every year. An article published in 'The Washington Post' on July 1, 2014, estimated that 11,400 people were injured by handling fireworks. Additionally, there was eight confirmed deaths in 2013 directly caused by fireworks. AND the research about deaths was still not yet complete, so 8 dead is a best case figure. The statistical breakdown showed that about 456 of the over 11,000 injured were under the age of 15 years old. The stats and reports were furnished by U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Danger is a reality.
Look, I get it. Fireworks are meant to be fun. But they are not toys to be played with by unsuspecting children. A web site called "NHS", reveals some very scary fireworks facts.
Sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil. What child hasn't held and waved around a sparkler? And three sparklers burning together generate the same heat as a blowtorch. Now how much fun do they seem to be? The majority of firework-related injuries happen at family or private parties and half of all injuries are to children under the age of 17. Let's not forget that lighting fireworks at home isn't even legal in many areas or states.
Look at what it says on "Ask.com". "Fireworks are filled with metal oxides and metal salts. Some of the more common metals found in fireworks today are titanium, copper, potassium, aluminum and lithium. When these chemicals are heated, the atoms in each element absorb energy and the electrons rearrange themselves from their lowest energy state to a higher one. The metals start oxidizing, which creates heat." The loud booms come from flash powder that is also included in a firework. And the icing on the cake is this jewel of a fact..."The exterior casing of commercial fireworks is constructed of tubes, hollow spheres and paper." How crazy is that? This combination is an accident waiting to happen.
Got a Match?
Well, what do you say?
Do you think it is OK to use and play with fireworks on your own?
Go see a professional display show!
Enjoy the holiday weekend and even the firework displays that are certain to be available in most areas. There are hundreds of ways to have fun without letting your kids handle fireworks. Get the kids some Glo-sticks. You can still get those 'snakes'. Those are those little discs that grow into a tar-colored worm as they burn. Be creative, get silly string, confetti poppers and even see if you can find an old fashioned foil pinwheel, or a light-up version.
Believe me, the time and effort will be worth it and the kids will have just as much fun, but without the dangers. Happy Fourth of July!