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STATE WIDE–You’re being asked to leave fireworks to the pros. Dr. Brian Wagers, an Emergency Dept. physician at Riley Children’s Health, said you have many reasons not to mess with fireworks in your own back yard.

“A firework is an explosive. We don’t like to think of it as being an explosive. But, that’s what it is. If you get the big ones, they certainly are just like using TNT,” he said.

Wagers said over 12,000 people were hurt by fireworks last year across the country, and eight people died. He said four out of ten injuries were to children.

“One out of five kids who were injured from fireworks weren’t actually even lighting the fireworks or holding the fireworks themselves. They were simply bystanders in the backyard.”

Wagers said one item that people buy and let their kids handle are sparklers. They can be very dangerous.

“People think of those as pretty benign. But, some of those sparklers can burn anywhere from 1,200 degrees, up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about the same temperature as a blow torch,” he said. “And, I know as a dad I certainly wouldn’t let my kids play with a blow torch. So, I need to think twice about letting them play with a sparkler, as well.”

Wagers said some of the main dangers with sparklers include eye injuries.

“And then you have lasting damage to the eye from both the trauma from the penetration of the sparkler, as well as the heat,” he said.

Wagers said the dangers all add up to the conclusion that you may be better off if you look up a good local fireworks show and go there instead of trying to set them off yourself.

“Take the family out there. Enjoy that. Let the folks who have all the safety equipment put on the display. Enjoy that and then go home knowing that your kids are safe and then you can wake up the next morning in your own bed and not in a hospital bed.”

PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis