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What's the Worst That Could Happen? (Fireworks Edition)

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July 1, 2023
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Every year, around the 4th of July, it is to be expected that a few new images of mangled extremities make their way through the threads of social media. Maybe we just follow too many medical educational accounts, but it is the same warning every year. Don't hold your fireworks. Don't stand close to your fireworks. It is not a prank to throw a lit firework at a friend, it is not a joke to set one off near an assuming individual. Fireworks are explosives. And yet, every year, people still think it's a good idea to play with fire. 

The allure of fireworks is not unique to modern life. The bourgeoisie of France have been throwing grand gestures for centuries, which is most commonly known in the extravagance of Marie Antoinette. Upon her marriage to Dauphin Louis, it is estimated that the fireworks celebration killed about 130-800 individuals. 

What a way to tie the knot. 

More recently, a man out of San Antonio in 2017 got his time to shine as a thrilling extra in any over the top medical sitcom you watch on ABC. After setting off mortar a style firework, the potential explosive was lodged in his leg. Arriving at the San Antonio Military Medical Center hospital, doctors were able to quarantine the patient and utilized an ordnance team in order to work towards recovering the lodged apparatus from the man's leg. Though the man was able to recover, some are clearly not so lucky. 

Big Bay Boom is the San Diego celebration for the Fourth of July. It is known to be one of the largest firework displays, with thousands upon thousands of people coming to watch the show. In 2012, what was supposed to last the entire show, was quickly spent within seconds, as 7000 fireworks detonated all at once. Miraculously, no one was injured, as the workers were quick enough to shield themselves under metal shelters designed for this very type of mishap.

A good firework celebration can be fun and safe for everyone involved. It is important to remember that they are explosives, and can cause fires and injury when not handled appropriately. As fun as danger can be, it is important to stay safe this holiday, to keep it a celebration rather than a cruel memoriam.

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