June 29, 2003
With Independence Day coming up this week, fireworks vendors are predicting booming fireworks sales in a trend fueled by post-war patriotism and an increase in the number of states that permit the pyrotechnic displays.
Meridian's own patriotic display with professionally detonated fireworks is planned for Bonita Lakes on Friday in a program designed to honor former U.S. Rep. G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, our community's favorite son.
With safe and proper use, even non-professionals can enjoy the magic of fireworks. But children remain most at risk for fireworks-related injuries.
According to a U.S. Product Safety Commission study of fireworks injuries, children under 15 years old accounted for about half the number of fireworks injuries. Children ages 10 to 14 years had the highest injury rate and most of those were associated with firecrackers, rockets and sparklers just the kinds of items that many parents buy for their kids.
State law in Mississippi permits "consumer fireworks" as defined by the Department of Transportation, but prohibits cherry bombs, tubular salutes, repeating and aerial bombs and torpedoes.
For a safer Fourth, here are a few tips: Only buy fireworks from licensed retail outlets; don't attempt to make your own. Don't shoot in windy conditions, and never point or throw fireworks at people or animals. Never mix alcohol and fireworks. Safety awareness is important.
Better yet, come out to Bonita Lakes on Friday and enjoy a show that is always spectacular.