How to stay safe and out of trouble this 4th of July

How to stay safe and out of trouble this 4th of July
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Fireworks are the number one reason local urgent care facilities are the busiest on the 4th of July.

"We see a lot of hand injuries, people deciding to either hold fireworks or thinking they can get rid of it in time," said Dr. Michael Nash, Medical Director at CareXpress. "Eye injuries [too] because of sparks flying and sparklers, and also some foodborne illnesses sometimes with the picnics and the outdoor events food just doesn't get prepped as well or kept at a constant temperature."

Nash said while you can't prepare for everything, most injuries on this holiday are avoidable.

Don't let kids handle fireworks, and don't touch one after it's been lit.

Just have a safety plan in place to get to the nearest doctor if something goes wrong.

Remember, it is illegal to possess or use fireworks in Amarillo city limits.

"Last year on the 4th of July in a 24 hour period we had 370 calls for service just for fireworks," said Officer Jeb Hilton with the Amarillo Police Department. "It doesn't seem like a huge deal for most people, but that is pulling officers away from calls that they need to respond to. It could be a real emergency but they're being sent to these firework calls."

Getting caught with them, even in your car on the way out to the county, can land you with a fine of up to $2,000.

In Randall County, you can only shoot fireworks on private property with the owner's permission.

They cannot be set off on any public roadways or publicly owned areas.

Extra officers will be on patrol throughout the area Tuesday to keep an eye out for drunk drivers on the roads.

But if you avoid touching lit fireworks, eating unprepared food, and drinking and driving, officials say you have nothing to worry about.

"Really be aware of the things around you but don't let it keep you from having a good time," said Nash.

Several urgent care offices and the hospitals will be open if you need emergency assistance on Independence Day.

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