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Editorial: Practice safety with fireworks

The Fourth of July may have already passed, but reports of fireworks are still lingering and are likely to continue throughout the summer.

If you decide to light off fireworks, make sure to know the rules on what is allowed and what isn’t and how to properly protect yourself from injury.

In Minnesota, fireworks that explode or shoot into the air are illegal, but people can use fireworks such as sparklers, fountains, ground spinners and snappers.

Fireworks should be used in an open area away from trees and houses, and should be disposed of in a bucket of water.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, there is an average of 73 hospital visits in Minnesota each year due to fireworks injuries. There was at least one injury reported in Freeborn County last week.

Of all the injuries, approximately 40% happen to children.

Make sure children are always supervised and that fireworks are pointed away from people and animals when being used. Keep in mind that more than 30% of fireworks injuries are from sparklers.

Also remember the effects fireworks can have on those around you, including children and people with special needs, dogs and even veterans.

Be respectful of your neighbors when using, and be watchful of the time.