Nothing says “America” quite like the summer sun, burgers sizzling on the grill and the crackle-boom of fireworks in the night sky. This Independence Day, we want you to take pride in your country and enjoy fireworks with your families — safely.

According to a 2013 study by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 230 people visit the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries every day during the 4th of July timeframe. Instead of spending that time with a doctor, a few safety tips can help you spend the day where you belong — with your family.

Here are some tips on how to stay safe and smart when you light those bottle rockets:

    1. Keep water around. If something goes wrong, the easiest way to solve it is probably water.
    2. Handle with care. Fireworks (while pretty cool) aren’t toys. Do not point them at other people, lit or not. Survey the area carefully before you light a firework. Back away after lighting fireworks, and do not attempt to relight a “dud.” Eye protection is not just recommended but absolutely necessary.
    3. Adult supervision required. Kids should absolutely never be allowed to touch fireworks. If you choose to let them use sparklers, bear in mind some sparklers get hot enough to melt metal. Supervise closely or give them an alternative way to celebrate. If you have young children, consider whether or not you can keep the area safe for them.
    4. Consider attending a professional show instead. Professional fireworks shows are always safer and often are more impressive than amateur ones. If you live in an area with lots of brush and not a lot of wide open space, fireworks can lead to an emergency call to the fire department. Check if fireworks are legal in your area before setting them off.

Whether you choose to set off fireworks or go watch a professional display, we at AFC/Doctors Express Indianapolis hope you have a very happy 4th of July!