KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As Fourth of July celebrations continue across the Metro, a Kearney family has a warning of their own.
Marc Eater is an energetic nine-year-old kid who loves playing football.
This year he played for the Kearney Bulldogs.
“Football is my favorite sport,” Marc Eater said. “I’ve really been playing it since I was like two.”
But this time last year, Eater thought he’d never be able to throw or catch a ball again.
“I was more freaked out than hurt,” said Marc Eater.
An Independence Day celebration with family and friends turned into a trip to the E.R. at Children’s Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri.
Marc’s mom, Missy, said he had multiple steel magnesium sparklers in his hand, bent down and accidentally lit them off of a centennial oil lamp.
“It was just a white explosion and he was just screaming,” Missy Eater, said. “I really didn’t know what I would find when I got to him. I could hear him screaming so I knew he was alive.”
She said doctors told her Marc had second and third degree burns on his hand, arm, and leg.
“I can’t tell you how many times he said what about football because he loves to play football,” said Missy Eater.
A year later the burns have healed, but Marc still has discoloration on his hand.
“Happy I can play like video games and stuff with my friends,” said Marc Eater.
Missy said she doesn’t want to scare parents from popping fireworks with their kids but wants them to think twice when it comes to safety.
“We always thought we were being careful because we didn’t let the kids do the big fireworks,” said Missy Eater. “Don’t let kids have the reign. Really control what they have one at a time or just leave it to the professionals.”