The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 4, 2013

Fireworks displays ahead; leave the shows to experts

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

— Fireworks will light up the skies in two locations this star-spangled weekend, including one display today, the Fourth of July,

Geneva-on-the-Lake holds the distinction of offering the only Fourth of July show, and it starts at 10 p.m. at the municipal golf course.

The other show is 10 p.m. Saturday at Conneaut’s Fourth of July Festival at Lakeview Park. Once again, the display will be ignited near the Conneaut Harbor sandbar, meaning prime viewing spots can be found from public dock to Township Park.

Conneaut kicks off its festival today with a 3:15 p.m. parade that begins on Depot Street and travels to the festival midway via Broad and Erie streets. Also on today’s agenda are opening ceremonies at the midway (4 p.m.), three back-to-back pageants (starting at 4:30 p.m.), the first- and second-rounds of the Conneaut Idol singing competition, sponsored by the local Dairy Queen Restaurant (7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) and performances by Match Point (8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.)

Meanwhile, safety experts are urging people to leave the fireworks displays to the experts. The Ohio Department of Health says too many people hurt themselves by the misuse of fireworks.

Children are especially susceptible, the ODH says. Sparklers, which burn at more than 1,000 degrees and can ignite clothing, account for one-third of fireworks injuries to children, the agency said. Adults should make sure kids under 12 do not handle sparklers, never light more than one sparkler at a time and use them outdoors only, according to the ODH.

Here’s some sobering facts about fireworks injuries shared by the ODH:

• Most injured body parts are hands and fingers (41 percent), followed by head/face/ears (19 percent), trunks (15 percent), legs (13 percent), eyes (12 percent) and arms (1 percent). More than half of all injuries were burns

• “Unspecified” devices cause the most injuries (25 percent), ahead of firecrackers (23 percent), sparklers and bottle rockets (12 percent), reloadable shells (9 percent) novelties (5 percent), roman candles (4 percent) multiple tubes (3 percent), public displays and fountains (2 percent)

• People between 25 and 44 years of age suffer the most injuries (23 percent), while folks 65 years and up have the lowest incident rate (1 percent)

• By a large margin, males suffer the most injuries (74 percent) compared to women. Females, however, were hurt more often at public fireworks displays.