4th of July Safety Tips for Children

The 4th of July is not only traditionally fun, but it is also traditionally the holiday with the most fires and injuries. These fires can be as small as a burning buckets and some just a burned finger. However, it can also turn into an entire neighborhood fire or serious injuries!

The worst part is that many children are the ones that are typically injured in these types of fires. This is because they are not prepared to use fireworks safely. Here are some tips which include safety measures you can take to protect your children this holiday!

Safety Tips for Children on the 4th of July

  1. Check local fireworks laws first - If you do decide to light your own fireworks, always purchase products that comply with your state and city or town’s rules. Anything that’s banned is also unregulated, which means it could be dangerous. 
  2. Have fire extinguisher & water hose ready - Have a fire extinguisher and water hose readily available. This way if there is an accidental fire, the fire can be put out quickly.
  3. Create a safety zone - Don’t just trust your kids to stay away from fireworks going off. Keep them far back behind a fence or roped-off area. Or consider setting off fireworks outside while they’re safe inside the home.
  4. Prep kids in advance - It’s not a safety issue per say, but small kids or those without experience watching fireworks could get scared or anxious as a result of the loud noises. Explaining in advance what to expect is important.
  5. Limit fireworks children can use - Kids should never play with fireworks. Things like firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are just too dangerous. If you give kids sparklers, make sure they keep them outside and away from the face, clothing, and hair. Sparklers can reach 1,800°F (982°C) — hot enough to melt gold.
  6. Keep fireworks aware from decorations - When you decorate the area that you will be setting off fireworks, it is important to make sure that the decorations are a safe distance from the actual fireworks. This should be a roped off area, that is away from children.
  7. Shrubs & bushes - Make sure that the area you are lighting fireworks off is also free of bushes, dry grass, trees, streamers, balloons, flammable helium, and other fire hazardous materials.
  8. Cleanup - When you are disposing of 4th of July decorations and fireworks, make sure that they are completely free of heat and fire. Soak all fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash can. This way there will not be a smoldering fire happening after the party is over.

Sparkler Tips

While many consider sparklers to be safe, it's important to remember that you are, in fact, playing with fire: Sparklers can burn at more than 1,000 degrees F, and caused an estimated 800 injuries in 2008.

  • Don't allow children under the age of 12 to handle sparklers.
  • Use a solo cup and cut small hole in the bottom of it then put the sparkler handle through the cup. This will allow the child to hold the sparkler without hurting their hand.
  • Show older children how to hold sparklers at arm's length, and don't let them run with or wave the sparklers.
  • Stand at least six feet away from another person while using sparklers.
  • To hand a sparkler to another person, give him or her an unlit sparkler and then light it.
  • Don't hold a child in your arms while holding a sparkler.
  • Drop spent sparklers into a bucket of water.
If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don't flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention — your child's eyesight may depend on it. If it's a burn, remove clothing from the burned area and run cool, not cold, water over the burn (do not use ice). Call your doctor immediately.

Fireworks are meant to be enjoyed, but you'll enjoy them much more knowing your family is safe. Take extra precautions this Fourth of July and your holiday will be a blast! Happy 4th!!

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