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Published on June 29, 2021

fireworks display over water

Smart Tips for Fireworks Safety

Independence Day is a day to spend with friends and family, to have barbecues and picnics and of course, firework displays.

Professional firework displays are the safest way for families to celebrate the July Fourth holiday, some people though will still celebrate by hosting their own firework shows at home. The reason that most safety organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Safety Council recommend leaving the fireworks to the professionals is because of the amount of emergency room visits that occur due to injury by fireworks with the large majority of these being burns.

However we realize that many families will still hold fireworks show celebrations. If your family is planning to host their own firework display take some time to review some of these safety tips so that you can enjoy a safe and fun holiday.

Some tips to keep in mind this holiday:

  • Check city and state laws for fireworks. Many cities do not allow fireworks within city limits.
  • Anyone using fireworks should avoid loose, flowing clothes and should keep long hair back.
  • Wear eye protection.
  • Always wear shoes to avoid stepping on a leftover firework that is still hot.

Remember to never allow children to play with or light fireworks, including sparklers. Many children suffer injuries from sparklers each year, since this popular “kid’s” fireworks novelty burns at about 2000 degrees F! That’s hot enough to melt some metals. Instead of using sparkler let kids’ wave glow sticks.

Here are some additional ideas to consider this year with fireworks:

  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because that is sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays only.
  • Never put any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up a safe distance after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to relight or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never carry fireworks in pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse with water to prevent a trash fire.
  • Be sure not to light fireworks under or a tree or on dry grass to prevent a fire.
  • Don’t forget to pick up fireworks and dispose of them at the end.

Remember that not all young children may be comfortable with fireworks, make sure to provide ear protection for younger kids. Some children may find that fireworks are over stimulating depending on their individual temperament so pay attention to their comfort level.

Some veterans, especially those with combat experience, also may find fireworks disturbing. It's always smart to be neighborly and avoid celebrations that make others feel uncomfortable. It can affect dogs, too. Pets may also find the noise from fireworks frightening and may need to be comforted.

Fireworks can be a fun and beautiful way to celebrate Independence Day, just remember that it's important to follow safety guidelines. Wishing you a fun, happy and safe holiday!

Patricia Bates is an Avera Family Life Educator

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