This is the time of year people like to play with fireworks.
Communities and organizations throughout the country provided professional fireworks shows for the Fourth of July.
Yet thousands of people buy their own fireworks, ranging from sparklers to large, illegal firecrackers and rockets. Because explosives are being handled by people who are not accustomed to doing so - and who sometimes take risks to show off or because they are intoxicated - accidents often occur.
Each year, many Americans are hurt badly - and a few are killed - by fireworks. About 8,800 people a year are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries caused by fireworks. That works out to an average of about one and a half injuries for each hospital in the country.
More than 700 of those injuries often are serious enough to require at least overnight treatment in hospitals.
There are no safe fireworks. Of an average year's injuries, more than 1,000 are burns from sparklers.
Even those who sell illegal pyrotechnics warn they should be used only by adults. Yet many children are among those requiring hospital treatment for injuries. Thirty-nine percent of those hurt in fireworks accidents in 2009 were under 15 years of age.
Beginning to get the idea? Leave the fireworks to professionals. Don't risk hurting yourself or your loved ones.