Each year more than 10,000 Fourth of July revelers - half of them children - are injured by fireworks.
So Utahns ought to pay close attention to Robert Parenti, president of the State Safety Council, when he warns this week that even seemingly simple sparklers can do serious damage, including blindness.In any event, a few suggestions are in order on how to handle fireworks safely.
1. Never let young children handle fireworks, not even sparklers. Older children should be permitted to use fireworks only with adult supervision.
2. Light fireworks outdoors in a clearing away from houses, dry grass, overhanging tree branches and flammable materials such as gasoline and charcoal lighter fluid.
3. Keep a bucket of water handy for emergencies and for wetting down fireworks that do not ignite. Light only one item at a time. Never try to relight a dud; it's not worth the risk.
4. Never take fireworks apart. Don't alter or modify them in any way. Don't try to use them in any manner except that intended by the manufacturer.
The best advice is to forget about buying and using fireworks yourself but go instead to one of the many officially sponsored public displays where the pyrotechnics are professionally supervised.
The Deseret News is sponsoring one such display the evening of July 3 at Sugarhouse Park. Bring the family and enjoy a spectacular and safe evening.