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Leave fireworks to pros, doctors say

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Fireworks at Music in Plymouth, 2009
The fireworks display at last year's Music in Plymouth. The event has music, dancing, an orchestra and fireworks that last longer than most.
MPR Photo/Elliot deBruyn

Minnesota's largest doctor group says the public should leave shooting fireworks to the professionals.  

"On average 200 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month surrounding the Fourth of July, from mid-June to mid-July," said Minnesota Medical Association President Cindy Firkins Smith. "his is the appropriate time to really start educating people about those risks.

A recent report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates nationally there were more than 11,400 injuries caused by fireworks last year-- up more than 30 percent, or 8,700, the year before. A third of those injuries were caused by sparklers.  

The report also says that half of all fireworks-related injuries treated by emergency departments were to individuals younger than 20 years old.