Moms Talk: Fourth of July Safety
When you celebrate Independence Day, make sure you do it safely.
Fourth of July celebrations undoubtedly include fun, but make sure to also include a review of safety rules you and your kids must follow. What may seem like common sense can quickly be forgotten in the excitement of the festivities.
First and foremost, you are the adult and must be in charge. Fireworks are not toys and are not intended for use by children of any age in any circumstance. Fireworks are dangerous and cause a wide range of injuries every year.
Talk through all of the safety precautions you are taking as to instill them in your children early on. Older kids, especially, like to take risks. Even during times you are not around to protect them, you want them to remember how to be safe around fireworks.
If you are setting off fireworks on your own, there are several simple rules to follow including: Use fireworks only outdoors in an open space. Wear proper eye protection. Do not ever point a firework toward anyone. Do not attempt to make your own fireworks. Never ever attempt to relight a dud firework. Do not allow children to touch fallen pieces of fireworks. Put all finished fireworks in water to soak before disposing of them.
Purchase only legal fireworks. If you are unsure what is legal for you to have and to fire off, check with your local police station. The website for the National Council on Fireworks Safety states “Items such as M-80s, M-100s and blockbusters are not fireworks, they are federally banned explosives. They can cause serious injury or even death.”
Take a few seconds to jot down the local Fire Department phone number and the address to the nearest ER and have it with you. You just never know if you or someone else may need it.
A safer, perhaps more entertaining Fourth of July pastime is heading out to a professional fireworks display. We are so fortunate to have several great shows in the area. Look for a place to sit and watch the show that is far enough away from where the fireworks are ignited to minimize risk. Never allow children to cross that barriers set up by the local fire department responsible for the event. They are always prepared for mishaps, and the operators are trained in pyrotechnics. Do not try to recreate these large displays of fireworks at home.
Fireworks are extremely loud, and the bang can reverberate off surrounding buildings. To protect your children’s’ hearing, give them either earplugs or sound blocking headphones.
Sparklers on the Fourth of July have always been a favorite of children and adults alike. They tend to be the only thing that kids are allowed to handle, but remember to only allow them to do so under close adult supervision. Light the sparklers for them and have your children hold sparklers at arms length away from their body, hair and clothing. Dress kids in snug fitting fire-retardant clothing and appropriate shoes.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers can reach a temperature of 1,800 to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, making them a very real burn and fire hazard. Sparklers remain very hot long after the sparkle fades, so place them in a safe container of water when they are done.
Whatever activities you choose to participate in with your children this year, make it a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!