Happy 4th!
I have mixed feelings about the coming weekend.
Yes, of course it’s wonderful to celebrate our national holiday — but I worry.
This year the most obvious source of anxiety is that we all want to get together with family and friends, and right now it’s not exactly a safe time for large gatherings, with the threat of Covid-19 all too real.
But there are other reasons to worry. Because the pandemic has motivated many municipalities to cancel their annual fireworks displays, authorities are predicting that more people may take matters into their own hands.

And that means injuries.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 9,000-10,000 people go to the emergency room with fireworks injuries each year in the United States, with about two-thirds of those injuries afflicting bystanders.

It may surprise you to know that sparklers are among the most dangerous. The tips reach a temperature of almost 2,000 degrees, and since they’re often handed to kids, they are serious accidents waiting to happen.

Of course I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t emphasize the risks to sight and hearing. Eye protection is a really good idea, and so are earplugs, since a firecracker can emit 150 decibels — enough to blow out your eardrums.

Not trying to be a spoilsport here — I truly hope you have a wonderful weekend. Just be careful!

Sincerely,

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