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As the 4th of July approaches, the city of Los Angeles, as other cities throughout the state and the country, experiences the nightly boom of fireworks. The booming of fireworks can be heard essentially every night throughout the month of June, leading into the big holiday. This year, however there will be no public firework shows as the country is so accustomed to enjoying annually due to COVID-19 and California’s measures to prevent large gatherings.
Perhaps it is due to the boredom, the tense circumstances, or the chaos of the country amidst high unemployment rates, business closures, police brutality, and the coronavirus that this year the fireworks seem to be louder and more intense than any previous year. Los Angeles county police officers have already confiscated thousands of pounds worth of illegal fireworks.
In a quote given by Doctor Steven Kim to the Orange County Registrar, he states that, “We’ve been in this lock-down state for a while and people are getting cabin fever. As our communities start loosening up quite a bit, people are going to be looking for fireworks and there is the potential they will try to set more off. I would predict we will have a higher incidence this year than previous years of fireworks-related injuries.”
Whatever the reason may be, the firing of these fireworks can have serious consequences. Not only do they disrupt the sleep of entire neighborhoods, but they also provoke anxiety to pets and PTSD in humans. What’s more is that they can cause accidents, that can result in burns or other more serious injuries to which children are most susceptible.
Burns account for the majority of accidents caused by fireworks and even the most seemingly harmless firework can cause them. The childhood favorite, the sparkler, can burn up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and can catch flammable items, such as clothing, on fire.
Most burn injuries caused by fireworks tend to be on the hands and arms, followed by the face and eyes. If burns don’t receive immediate medical attention, they can get infected, heal badly, and scar very easily. Depending on the severity of the severity of the burn, a skin graft might be needed and the pain from the burn injury could be too intense for even the strongest of pain medications to subside.
However, doctors fear that people might be wary of coming to the emergency room due to fears of contracting the corona virus. Still so, if a firework accident happens, people should call for immediate medical services to get the affected individuals to the emergency room as soon as possible.
And, people should report the use of illegal fireworks in their neighborhoods to the local authorities and refrain from the use of fireworks at all to prevent accidents from happening. If people do decide to celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks, it should be done with only recreational use of fireworks and under the supervision of responsible adults, always.