This Independence Day, the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) urges Minnesotans to leave the lighting of fireworks to the professionals.

“We know that fireworks are part of the season and the celebration, but we’d prefer that Minnesotans leave them to the professionals,” said George Schoephoerster, MMA president. “Every summer too many Minnesotans end up getting hurt when fireworks explode unexpectedly.”

According to 2016 data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 11,100 injuries were treated in emergency departments across the country for fireworks-related injuries.

An estimated 68 percent of these injuries occurred during the weeks before and after the Fourth of July. Thirty-one percent of the injuries involved children under the age of 15. 

The most commonly injured body parts included: hands and fingers (33 percent); head, face and ears (20 percent) and eyes (9 percent).

“The MMA would prefer that fireworks weren’t commercially available but as long as they are, we strongly recommend that people leave them to the experts who are trained in how to handle them,” Schoephoerster said.