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Celebrate the Fourth of July safely

In less than a week, the majority of us will take a day off to celebrate Independence Day. It’s a day where many of us get a chance to catch our breath, throw some burgers on the grill and spend a few hours at the lake or a nearby pool.

Of course, the Fourth of July wouldn’t be the same without fireworks. Many people will head to the nearest fireworks stand and spend a pretty penny buying explosives to celebrate the holiday.

Unfortunately, fireworks can also be dangerous.

According to the National Safety Council, eight people died from firework use in 2017 and more than 12,000 people were injured badly enough to require medical treatment. Half of the number of people injured were children and young adults under the age of 20, per the NSC.

Although you’d think most of these injuries were from large fireworks, about 10 percent of them were from small firecrackers and sparklers.

There are some basic steps you can take to prevent injuries, such as not allowing young children to handle fireworks. No child — of any age — should ever light a firework without adult supervision.

According to the National Safety Council, eight people died from firework use in 2017 and more than 12,000 people were injured badly enough to require medical treatment. Half of the number of people injured were children and young adults under the age of 20, per the NSC.

Although you’d think most of these injuries were from large fireworks, about 10 percent of them were from small firecrackers and sparklers.

If you are going to shoot off fireworks or live near someone who shoots them off, remember that pets are often spooked by the sound. Make sure the environment for pets is safe and secure and escape-proof.

And keep your neighbors in mind. Fireworks are fun, but they are a lot more enjoyable at 9:30 p.m. than at 1 a.m. when people are trying to sleep.

Of course, the best way to enjoy fireworks is to let the professionals do all the heavy lifting.

Pyne Road Park will hold a firework show after dark along with live music and a kid’s play zone. Gates open at 10 a.m. and a $10 per vehicle charge is required at the entry gate.

No matter what you do this Fourth of July, remember to do it safely.