A safety item that I want to share is one that we hear at this time, every year – FIREWORKS SAFETY. We hear this so much that out of habit, I have a tendency to let it go in one ear and out the other, but on July 4th, 2008 this hit close to home.
My favorite celebration with my family is the 4th of July. We make this an all-day event with swimming, games, food, etc., but most of all PARACHUTES.
We had a multiple-shot parachute that year with at least 50 shots. A family member placed the item on the lawn, just east of where we were sitting. The kids were prepared to run to catch falling parachutes as well as some adults. The wick was lit, the anticipation was climbing. The first one shot out BOOM. Let the running begin! The power of the first shots being fired, however, caused the firework to tip over and shoot in the direction of where we were sitting. There was no time to react. A family member tried to kick the fireworks to a different direction, but with multiple shots being fired, they just kept coming.
As a parent, your heart sinks to your stomach, and you start praying.
After the smoke cleared, we were checking to see if everybody was OK. They weren’t. My one-year-old Rylie had been hit. As a parent, your heart sinks to your stomach, and you start praying. Rylie had been hit two times. One in the side of the neck and the other on the arm. The mark on the neck was a simple round circle where part of the casing had hit her. The arm had a sizable burn.
Walking into the doctor’s office was the worst feeling ever. How could I have let this happen to my child?
Upon examination the doctor said she had second-degree burns. It was blistering and in order for her not to have a scar on her arm they needed to scrape the area. They took a brush and scrubbed on the area where the skin had blistered. I sit and hold my baby down while she is screaming in unbearable pain. This had to be done on two different occasions.
While Rylie was little enough not to remember it, it has left a scar on me.
Before anything you do, take the time to assess what all could possibly go wrong and have an answer in your mind. Lesson’s learned, if I would have asked myself “what could go wrong in this situation?” I might have had my children safely behind a vehicle or porch and I might have made sure the parachutes were lit on a flat, stable surface.