Jonathan Eisenberg, MD
As a child, my father told me a story about his neighbor who had a mishap with a firecracker and blew off the second through fourth digits. He would then hold out his thumb and pinky and wave to me. This scared me to such an extent that I still have never lit a firecracker, even during my less frontal lobe-oriented teen years. I now think that this story was a fabrication—but it is not that far off from its realistic basis.
Fireworks are most popular during the month surrounding July 4th in the US. These colorful combustibles have been around in the US since July 4th, 1777, and we spend more than $700 million dollars per year on them. There are many varieties and categories from novelty and daytime fireworks (both generally have smaller explosions) to the larger aerial fireworks and a host of nuanced state laws which allow for an all, some, or none approach to sales.