WAPPAPELLO, MO (KFVS) - The Fourth of July is just a couple of days away, meaning many of us are making plans that include fireworks. While shooting off fireworks is fun, it can also be dangerous.
No one knows that better than Melissa Phelps, a Wappapello woman who is still dealing with a major firework accident five years later.
"It was over there by the tree is where he threw it and it literally came around the corner of the house," Phelps said.
It's a day that Phelps said she will never forget.
"We were actually sitting right here on the step and both of the girls were beside me, Marissa was to my right and Charleyse was to my left," she said.
That's when the bottle rocket exploded in her eye. Now, five years later, she's urging everyone to be extra careful.
"I thought that being around the corner that we were totally safe," Phelps said.
Phelps said she's thankful that the firework didn't hit her children and thanks to modern medicine, there's little evidence of the accident on the outside. Still, Phelps said it's changed her life.
"Try to close one eye and put your make up on. You don't think about it," Phelps said.
Doctors say injuries related to fireworks skyrocket on the Fourth of July. That's why Dr. Stephen Smith says prevention is the best solution.
"If you can avoid getting an injury from fireworks that's what you want to do," Dr. Smith said.
He said it's a good idea to have a first aid kit handy, for minor burns.
"Neosporin, triple antibiotics, those are the first things you need to start with," Dr. Smith said.
For more serious injuries, he advised that you seek medical treatment.
"Keep checking on the wound and if it gets more serious or is not healing properly, it needs to be evaluated," Smith said.
As for the Phelps family, they'll be enjoying other holiday weekend activities.
"We are going to BBQ and the girls are going to swim," Phelps said.
"[I'm excited about] swimming and having my family with me," Charleyse said.
Their mom said the girls will be sticking with the smaller fireworks.
"[I like] the parachutes, the snakes," Marissa said.
This certainly isn't the only serious firework related accident that has occurred in the Heartland. A Poplar Bluff man told us that last year a firework exploded in this face. He said he had to undergo major surgeries on his face as a result.