- Fiza Pirani The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
This Fourth of July, don’t let your children become victims to fireworks accidents and malfunctions.
According to Parents.com, it’s common for kids to suffer burns, lacerations or even partial finger amputations when handling sparklers, novelty devices or aerial devices.
Children are also more than twice as likely to be injured by fireworks.
But that doesn’t mean you and your family have to skip out on exciting fireworks displays this Independence Day.
The National Fire Protection Association advises against using consumer fireworks, including sparklers and firecrackers.
While sparklers may seem harmless, they can actually cause third-degree burns.
Sparklers also account for more than 25 percent of emergency room fireworks injuries.
But if you are going to be using consumer fireworks, abide by the following safety tips from the National Council on Fireworks Safety:
- Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
- Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
- A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
- Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
- FAA regulations prohibit the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
The bottom line: A child should never light a firework.
Alternatives to fireworks for kids
Instead of metal sparklers, you can use bamboo sparklers, because bamboo doesn’t heat up the same way.
But there are still plenty of fun, creative ways to celebrate the holiday aside from lighting any type of fireworks.
Use glow sticks, pull out some silly string, purchase some party poppers or bring out the bubbles.
Or try this nifty “Fireworks in a Jar” science experiment to keep the theme going: