Holiday weekend is about fun, games and safety

When the Fourth of July lands on a Sunday, everyone wins. That’s because the traditional two-day weekend, which never seems long enough, becomes a three-day weekend.

And, because it’s the country’s birthday, everyone is in a celebratory mood. Everyone loves a birthday party.

In this case, the most popular way to say “Happy birthday, America,” is to fire up some charcoals — or, for a lesser experience, light up the gas grill — char some meat, have a few drinks and play with fireworks.

Not so fast there, Sparky.

For safety’s sake, there are some things that just do not mix. Alcohol and fireworks, for instance. Bad, bad combination. Just as there is with driving, there should be a designated fireworks lighter — one who does not partake in the alcohol.

Alcohol relaxes the muscles and slows down reaction time. Not exactly want someone needs if they’re lighting fireworks and getting out of the way quickly.

While we’re discussing safety, let’s use a bit of common sense and, no matter how much they beg or plead or promise to be careful, let’s not let children light fireworks. As a good rule of thumb, if they’re still so young that they need to be reminded to use soap in the bathtub, they’re too young to light fireworks.

It’s OK to eat, drink and be merry; it’s just not OK to eat, drink, be merry and play with fire.

Have a happy, safe and sane Fourth of July.

And happy birthday, America.

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