Happy 4th of July! If you’re like most people in Southwest Florida, you’ll be spending today and tomorrow enjoying festivities around town — the Naples July 4th parade, maybe the Moes 5k Run (or maybe not because running is horrible), a barbecue with friends and family, and fireworks! To have a successful holiday, might we suggest doing your best to prevent hearing injuries? How can you prevent hearing injuries, you ask? By doing this one thing:
Use Good Judgment
This might seem obvious. But, have you looked around town lately? Moreover, have you driven around town lately? Our country — great and glorious as it is — is filled with people who do not use their best judgment. They use poor judgment. Florida, too, seems to attract those who continually use poor judgement. Entire books — bestselling books — address the weird and ludicrous happenings around our great state. (For some light and hilarious reading this holiday week, check out Oh, Florida! by Craig Pittman and Best. State. Ever. by Dave Berry.)
Because of the seemingly permanent state of affairs in our cultural milieu, a broadcast of something so obvious seems necessary in order to help people prevent hearing injuries around explosives. So, today, we at Decibels Audiology declare ourselves Masters of the Obvious. When spending time with family and friends eating, drinking, and being merry, use good judgment. When setting off fireworks or firecrackers, use good judgment. And when watching others set off these types of mini-explosives, use good judgement.
The Great State of Florida
Interestingly enough, most fireworks are illegal in our home state of Florida. Because the state allows the use of fireworks for certain mining and agricultural purposes, fireworks are widely available for purchase at different points in the year. Namely, during the Independence Day season and in anticipation of New Year’s Eve. If you plan to set off fireworks of any kind, a simple internet search yields all sorts of information about the law in Florida. But, who would do that? Certainly not the kind of people to whom this post is directed.
Theoretically, the laws regarding fireworks should deter various stores from offering these products to the public. However, demand at this time of year is so high, retailers must think, “Who cares about silly things like laws written to protect Floridians, who clearly require protection from themselves? Let’s leverage nostalgia, the element of danger, and the pervasive sense of nationalism during this week of the year to increase our sales!”
Protect Yourself and Your Family from Hearing Injuries
As Masters of the Obvious, we acknowledge that fireworks will continue to be a part of your non-agricultural and non-mining 4th of July celebrations. So when interacting with potentially dangerous and illegal fireworks that you definitely should not set off, how can you use good judgment, thereby preventing hearing injuries (and other types of injuries)? How can you possibly protect yourself and your family from the dangers of fireworks?
- If you plan to set off any type of explosives, use ear protection.
- Keep your children away from the explosives. Duh — but not duh — because we all know how it is around South Florida.
- If your children can not help themselves, make them use ear protection when they set off explosives.
- In case of emergency, dial 911. Do not attempt to treat any injuries yourself.
- In case of persistent ringing of the ears, hearing loss, ear pain or hearing injury, contact Decibels Audiology and Hearing Aid Center immediately.
- Drink responsibly. Do not attempt to set off fireworks while drinking or inebriated.
- Use common sense and good judgment.
Have a safe and happy 4th of July!