Father with little girl with fireworks.

Handle with Care: The Rocket’s Red Glare, the Bombs Bursting in Air

As July 4th nears, more and more families are looking for fireworks shows held by their city or town, and some might even make the trek to a nearby fireworks stand to bring the celebration to their own neighborhood, but being well-versed on fireworks safety can help prevent an accident from putting a burn on your Independence Day plans.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 230 people on average go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries every day in the month leading up to the July 4th holiday.

“Every July, we see patients with everything from mild burns to explosion-type injuries to shrapnel injuries,” says Hoyt Frenzel, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., F.A.A.E.M., medical director of the emergency department at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. “We always see some eye injuries from sparklers, as well — younger kids and teens horse around with them and get poked or burned in the eye.”

The most injured body parts are the hands and fingers, head, face and ears, and the eyes, accounting for almost 75 percent of fireworks-related injuries. More than 50 percent of the injuries are burns.

According to Dallas Fire-Rescue, in 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, resulting in eight reported civilian deaths, 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.

Dallas Fire-Rescue and the Fort Worth Police Department want to remind everyone that fireworks are illegal in the city and surrounding incorporated cities, and up to 5,000 feet outside the city limits. Anyone caught in possession of fireworks in city limits can be fined up to $2,000.

Emergency physicians and city officials seem to agree on one thing: leave fireworks to the professionals.

“Fireworks are fun, but there are professionals with good safety training who put on professional shows every year,” Dr. Frenzel says. “You’ll get a better show, have a good time, and avoid the hazards and dangers of fireworks.”

Thankfully, there are plenty of great, free fireworks displays in the DFW area.

Kaboom Town! in Addison, Texas, has been lauded as having one of the top fireworks shows in the country for over three decades, which is a pretty amazing feat for a town that is a little more than 4 square miles. This year’s event will be held on Sunday, July 3, and will feature live entertainment, games, food and beverage sales, and admission is free.

If celebrating our independence like our forefathers did is more your style, Old Fashioned Fourth at Dallas Heritage Village is sure to be a hit with you and your family. Chat with costumed interpreters, play historic games like horseshoes and graces, and get your hands dirty with some vintage crafts, then lie back and enjoy musical performances as you and your family enjoy a picnic on our nation’s birthday and the village’s 50th.

Denton’s Fourth of July Jubilee and Yankee Doodle Parade has something for everyone in the family. You can start your morning off with the Liberty Run, Yankee Doodle Parade and Lucky Horseshoe Tournament; next grab the kids for the free children’s carnival and let your little artiste shine at the Children’s Arts & Crafts Show; and then end the day with a splash at the Civic Center Pool.

There’s plenty to do at Frisco’s Freedom Fest, with events starting Sunday. Take your pick of activities from family-friendly events like the Children’s Expo or Frisco’s Finest to the downright zany like the dachshund races. Take in a FC Dallas game then stick around for the Fireworks Extravaganza, a 20-minute show that is one of the largest in North Texas.   

Maybe it’s all about the fireworks for you. If “the bigger, the better” is your motto, then Fort Worth’s Fourth is just the event for you. The celebration boasts the largest July 4th fireworks shows in North Texas. During the day, enjoy Jet Ski and flyboard shows; a free kid zone complete with bounce houses, water slides, miniature golf and more; and live music. Kick

off the night with an F-16 flyover, and then sit back and relax to fireworks coordinated to live music.

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