Fourth of July: a holiday for celebration, fun and, of course, fireworks. However, for too many families, this day becomes something other than a celebration. When not careful or properly supervised, kids of all ages are at risk of serious injuries from fireworks, which reach temperatures of 1,800 degrees. It’s important to stay aware and informed to ensure a fun and accident-free night for your kids.
Lighting fireworks at home is common, but it’s always best to leave this task to professionals. However, if you choose to do a fireworks show of your own, the first step is to be cognizant of the fireworks you buy and never try to make fireworks at home.
Other fireworks safety tips:
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children.
- When handling fireworks, keep them pointed away from people, and don’t put them in your pockets.
- Leave the handling and lighting to adults while kids watch from a safe distance.
- To prevent fires, aim fireworks away from trees, houses and people, and wear eye protection.
- It might be tempting to light up the sky with multiple fireworks at once, but while beautiful, this is also very dangerous. Light one firework at a time, and do not relight a dud.
- In case of an accident, keep a bucket of water close by, and soak used fireworks in water before throwing them away.
- Lastly, keep children away from fireworks even after they are lit, don’t let them pick up loose pieces, as they can still be ignited.
Sparklers may appear to be harmless, yet they have the potential to be even more dangerous.
- Remain extra aware and cautious with sparklers around children.
- Ensure sparklers are out of reach of a child’s hair and clothes.
- Wear proper eye protection.
Despite precautions, injuries may still occur, the most common being eye injuries or burns. If this happens, remain calm and act quickly by calling your doctor or going to the nearest emergency department. Dr. Alicia Webb, pediatric emergency medicine, says, “Fireworks can cause serious burns when the sparks or flame touch a child’s skin or eyes, but many fireworks also have an explosive component which can cause even more severe injuries. Glow sticks can be a great alternative for your child to light up the night sky while keeping them injury free!”
Remember, safety always comes first. Though fun and colorful, fireworks are explosives that can cause serious harm, especially to children. Injuries happen more often than they should. Keep these tips in mind and have a safe Fourth of July.