Tuesday, December 12

Should Children be Allowed to Shoot Off Fireworks?

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Fireworks or pyrotechnics, are classified as high explosive pyrotechnic devices used primarily for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. Although pyrotechnics can include types of fireworks such as petards, Roman candles and bottle rockets which are shot off, they can also include hand held fireworks such as sparklers, glow worms, snakes, ground spinners and toy smoke devices. In many countries of the world, the minimum age authorised to buy and use such fireworks is sixteen, however there are other countries where it is legal to sell them even to twelve year olds. 

Although sparklers seem such innocuous looking stuff, they actually account for a large percentage of firework related burns, pain and suffering. Around the ages of 10 to 14 years, boys are bound to get more injured than those of any other age and gender group. In fact approximately 40 percent of people injured by fireworks are children still under the age of 14. 

It is irresponsibility on the part of elder people to allow children and most especially young children to use fireworks. Fireworks can result in severe injuries such as amputations, third degree burns, loss of sight and loss of hearing. There are times when they have even caused death. 

In my country, fireworks are BIG. They are widely used in all types of celebrations but most especially in village feasts which take place during the whole summer. Although high risk fireworks manufactured for these feasts are legally manufactured by fireworks experts, unfortunately from time to time fireworks factories still blow up, and experts trapped inside them die. 

During the years we have often heard of children who go looking for unexploded fireworks by themselves or with their friends without their parents’ knowing what they are doing. This is ususally dome the day after fireworks were shot off. When an unexploded petard is found, there have been times when the firework exploded in their hands, resulting in grievous injuries to their body such as burning, amputation of a leg or an arm or severe loss of hearing, which they will have to suffer throughout all their lives. More awareness and teaching on the risks of unexploded fireworks is needed which should be taught to children. Maybe in future, such knowledge can save other children’s lives. 

Accidents do happen, even to fireworks experts who know all about health and safety regulations. To prevent such accidents from occurring to children, the best thing is not to allow them near fireworks at all.

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