Fourth of July celebrations are a wonderful way for families to spend time together, bond, and celebrate America. They’re also a great time to break out those fireworks and stand in awe of their sparkling powers.
Using fireworks properly, however, is important; we’ve all heard stories of what happens when things go awry. While your mind may be conjuring images of intoxicated adults making unwise choices with their fireworks, it is typically children and teens that experience the most fireworks-related injuries.
The risks associated with fireworks can be quite severe. Improper handling or usage can lead to your child being burned, it could lead to another person being burned, it could cause a household fire, or it could even lead to death. Consider these tips and suggestions before you begin your 4th of July celebrations!
- No one should light fireworks indoors.
- When lighting fireworks outdoors, stay away from dry grass, hay, leaves, or anything flammable.
- The person lighting fireworks should not be in loose clothing.
- Never point fireworks towards a person, your home, your vehicles, or any flammable object.
- Never stand over fireworks to determine if it’s lit or working. Always stand at least several feet away.
- Never light fireworks in your hands, and wear protective eye gear.
- Plan for the worst! Always have a fire extinguisher and/or water nearby.
- Soak all fireworks with water and make sure they’re completely out before disposing of them in the trash.
- Make sure all children in the vicinity are being closely monitored and supervised.
- Do not allow children to pick up fireworks that went off. They may still be ignited and could still explode.
- Children should not play with fireworks! Even sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees so be extremely cautious should you decide to let one of your children hold a sparkler. (Tip: glow sticks can be just as fun!)
- Don’t forget about the pets! Pets can be extremely frightened by fireworks, so keep them indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.
- Should the worst happen and someone is injured, immediately seek medical treatment. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub their eye, as this may cause even more damage.
- Forgo playing with your own fireworks and make a trip to a public display instead.