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To Help People With PTSD, Parkland Asks Residents Not To Explode Personal Fireworks On July 4

Illegal fireworks are any that explode or fire into the air, according to Florida law.
Patience Haggin
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

The City of Parkland has been asking people in email blasts and on social media not to explode personal fireworks during their Fourth of July celebrations on Thursday out of respect for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD

Symptoms of PTSD can be triggered by unexpected loud noises, including fireworks.

The city's mayor, Christine Hunschofsky, said it's part of being a good neighbor in any city, but especially in Parkland as people are still healing after last year's school shooting. 

"We have students and teachers who've been at Marjory Stoneman Douglas who get triggered, but we also have veterans in the community and pets," she said. 

The Eagles' Haven Wellness Center in Coral Springs released a tip sheet for coping during the Fourth of July, which includes using ear protection, deep breathing, and making a plan with people you trust. 

Read More: Coral Springs, Parkland Ask People Not To Explode Fireworks On July 4th For MSD Survivors

Hunschofsky is encouraging people to celebrate in other ways instead of shooting off their own fireworks, most of which are still illegal in Florida if they leave the ground or explode. (Here's a list of all of the sparklers that are legally approved by the state for 2019-2020.)

"If you want to enjoy the fireworks, please go to a planned community event," she said. "You know, leave the fireworks to the experts, it's just much safer."

Parkland does not have a city event. However, the fireworks show in Coral Springs is expected to start at 9 p.m. Thursday night  in Mullins Park.

Read more from Hunschofsky's July message to residents about fireworks, below:

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Caitie Switalski is a rising senior at the University of Florida. She's worked for WFSU-FM in Tallahassee as an intern and reporter. When she's in Gainesville for school, Caitie is an anchor and producer for local Morning Edition content at WUFT-FM, as well as a digital editor for the station's website. Her favorite stories are politically driven, about how politicians, laws and policies effect local communities. Once she graduates with a dual degree in Journalism and English,Caitiehopes to make a career continuing to report and produce for NPR stations in the sunshine state. When she's not following what's happening with changing laws, you can catchCaitielounging in local coffee shops, at the beach, or watching Love Actually for the hundredth time.