Fireworks safety is top of mind as we celebrate certain holidays like July 4th and New Year’s Eve. It’s just what we do in Texas! As the dazzling displays of fireworks light up the night sky, it’s important for parents to prioritize safety with young children. Fireworks, although mesmerizing and exhilarating, can pose significant burn and injury risks if not handled properly. The aim is to provide parents with essential tips and guidelines to ensure the safety of their kids during firework festivities. This article equips you with the knowledge needed to keep your children safe.
Educate Yourself and Your Children
Incorrect handling of pyrotechnics can result in burns and eye injuries in both children and adults. The easiest way to keep your family safe is to never use fireworks at home. Attend free fireworks shows and let the pros handle the illumination. In many towns fireworks are illegal, and also are regulated with burn bans during dry, hot temperatures, so, if you still want to use them, make sure you first check with local authorities.
It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the potential hazards associated with fireworks. Fireworks can cause serious injuries such as burns, eye injuries, and even cause traumatic amputations on hands. Studies show that children under the age of 15 are at a higher risk of injury. Parents should educate themselves about the types of fireworks, their safe handling procedures, and the laws and regulations governing their use in their specific area. (KidsHealth)
Click Here to download a flyer from the Consumer Product Safety Commission that gives statistics on fireworks injuries.
Attend Public Firework Displays
Opting for public firework displays instead of hosting personal firework shows is a safer choice for families. Public displays are conducted by professionals who adhere to strict safety protocols, minimizing the risks involved. By attending public events, parents can ensure their children enjoy the fireworks in a secure environment. Check local listings or websites for information on nearby public firework displays. (CPSC)
Maintain a Safe Distance
When attending a firework show, find a safe viewing spot at an appropriate distance. The CPSC recommends maintaining a distance of at least 500 feet from the fireworks’ launching site. This distance ensures that children are far enough from the explosion area, reducing the risk of injury from falling debris or accidental ignition.
Strictly Prohibit Children from Handling Fireworks
Fireworks should be handled only by responsible adults who understand their proper use. It is crucial to emphasize to children that fireworks are not toys and should never be played with. The CPSC states that even seemingly harmless fireworks like sparklers can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, causing severe burns. Safe Kids advises parents to establish clear boundaries and ensure that children understand the dangers associated with fireworks. (CPSC)
Create a Safe Environment
If hosting a private firework show, it is vital to create a safe environment. Use a clear, open area away from buildings, vehicles, and flammable materials. Keep a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of emergencies and ensure that all pets are safely secured indoors. By taking these precautions, parents can minimize the risks of accidents and injuries. (KidsHealth)
Fireworks can undoubtedly provide a memorable experience for children, but their potential hazards should not be underestimated. By following these safety guidelines, parents can ensure that their children enjoy the beauty while minimizing the associated risks. Remember to educate yourself and your children, attend public displays, maintain a safe distance, prohibit children from handling fireworks, and create a safe environment. Let’s make this year’s fireworks celebration not only memorable but also safe for the entire family.
When to Go to the ER
Fireworks were involved with an estimated 10,200 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2022.
Rice Emergency Room is equipped to handle any kind of firework burn or injury. Be sure you have considered what to do in a medical emergency and have a plan for emergency care. We are open 24/7, 365 days and offer no wait time to be seen. When minutes matter, Rice ER is here for you. We even offer a convenient online check-in process.
“Five Ways to Make Sure Kids Stay Safe around Fireworks.” Safe Kids Worldwide, www.safekids.org/blog/five-ways-make-sure-kids-stay-safe-around-fireworks. Accessed 03 July 2023.
“Fireworks.” U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks.
“Fireworks Safety (for Parents) – Nemours Kidshealth.” Edited by KidsHealth Medical Experts, KidsHealth, The Nemours Foundation, kidshealth.org/en/parents/fireworks.html.