Just another reminder that fireworks are potentially dangerous. WesternMassNews.com reports that with a rise in reported illegal fireworks in cities and towns across Western Massachusetts also comes a rise in firework-related injuries being reported at hospital emergency rooms.

Dr. Gerald Beltran, chief of disaster medicine at Baystate Health, is board-certified in emergency medicine and emergency medical services. That means he's pretty much seen it all at one time or another in the Emergency Department.

Right now, Dr.Beltran says he is already seeing more firework-related injuries than in years past and earlier in the summer than years past.

That's not a good sign. Dr. Beltran also says that fireworks can lead to a wide range of injuries. “I've seen, because there's a loud detonation, you have problems with your tympanic membrane, your eardrum, it can rupture and lose your hearing from that. I've seen eye injuries, burns to the eyes, burns to the face, burns to the hands, fingers that have been partially taken off the hand,” he said.

He also says that he's seen severe burns and other injuries from fireworks as small as sparklers.

Maybe people will never agree on why fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, but I think we can all agree that safety should be the main concern. It's one thing to purchase some illegal fireworks, but it's totally another thing to harm yourself or others around you. So please be careful and think about what could happen.

Fore more on this story, go to WesternMassNews.com.