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It’s a good idea to check with neighbors this year (and every year) before planning a 4th of July party.
As the holiday weekend approaches, millions of people across the country are in preparation mode for celebrations, including grilling with friends and family and, of course, shooting off fireworks. .
For some people, however, fireworks may not be the fun experience that others imagine.
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In a 2020 blog post published by Penn Medicine News, researchers determined that people with PTSD can be set off by fireworks.
Since these explosives are usually set off at night, with bright flashes and loud bangs at irregular intervals, veterans may struggle with these types of celebrations.
Fox News Digital spoke with Washington State-based Dr. Tony Brooks about how to handle a July 4 celebration that also takes into consideration veterans struggling with PTSD.
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Brooks, a combat veteran himself and the author of “Leave No Man Behind,” explained that not everyone dealing with PTSD will be triggered by the same stimuli.
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He suggested the easiest thing to do before having a 4th of July celebration is to talk with the neighbors.
“Too often we fail to have that simple, man-to-man conversation that could make a difference,” he said.
Brooks said that instead of asking directly if fireworks bother someone, it’s usually best to bring up the topic casually in conversation.
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This method gives others an opportunity to voice their concerns without forcing them to admit to something they wish to keep private, Brooks added.
Brooks pointed out that veterans who have issues with fireworks will likely speak up if they’re mentioned, even if the answer is as simple as “I’m not a fan of fireworks.”
Not everyone is the same, according to Brooks.
And there are plenty of veterans, including himself, who thoroughly enjoy the 4th of July fireworks.
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Fox News Digital also spoke with Dr. Leo Flanagan, a psychologist, trauma and resilience specialist in New York City, about how veterans can prepare for the holidays ahead.
Flanagan recommended keeping a comfortable distance from all fireworks celebrations.
“Don’t sit in the front row, especially in a crowd,” he said.
“Look from a distance and to a place where you can step further away if you become uncomfortable.”
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He also suggested using mindful breathing, especially in the days leading up to the holidays, as 20 minutes of controlled breathing several times a day can help with PTSD.
Michael Hollan contributed reporting for this article.