"It shot up past his ear and he lost his ear" make sure you practice firework safety this holiday

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Monday, July 1, 2019

With the 4th of July right around the corner, firework sales at Wacky Wayne's Fireworks have gone up, and they want to make sure you're practicing good firework safety this holiday.

News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- The 4th of July means firework sales in the CSRA are up. It also means visits to the Burn Center at Doctor's Hospital are up as well, and Dr. Shawn Fagan wants you to make sure you practice safety when using fireworks.

"The most common story is one where an individual has utilized a firework in an inappropriate manner, not utilizing the direction provided," said Dr. Fagan. "Or taking some risky behavior such as lighting off multiple fireworks at the same time and/or trying to throw a firework."

One mistake could land you in the burn center, and that's something 18-year-old Ayleen Worthy has seen first hand. She and her friends were lighting off bottle rockets when disaster struck her friend's little brother.

"We shot off a bottle rocket and it was like a dud, or so we thought," Worthy recalled. "He went to go change it out, and when he went to reach for it, it shot up and it rain past his ear and he lost his ear and all his hearing and had to have ear reconstruction surgery."

And it's something she hasn't quite shaken.

"I personally don't like fireworks anymore just because of that," she said.

Dr. Fagan said younger men are the most common burn victims he sees.

"It's that young-age, risk-taking behavior that puts them at risk," he said.
Spencer Sommers, 19, has been lighting off fireworks for more than 10 years, and doesn't always take all safety precautions.

"We usually shoot them at each other," Sommers said. "We get the Roman candles and chase each other around...you know just go wild."

Dr. Fagan said at some point that behavior will become an issue.

"It's not if, it's when those risk-taking behaviors can catch up with you," he said. He also added that even though you may have done something a million times, it only takes one time for things to go wrong to put you in danger.

Both Dr. Fagan and Ayleen Worthy said they don't have a problem with fireworks, so long as they're used with the proper precautions.

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