Last year, my husband and I spent the night of the Fourth of July in the ER and 5th of July in the Burn Center (a story for another day - but hint: see the sparkler tips below). While this does not make us experts, the stories and people - including kids - I saw in there were enough to emphasize the importance of safety this Fourth of July, especially when little ones are involved.
My family is from Nebraska, where full streets are shut down and full of smoke for weeks before the actual holiday. I love the smell of fireworks and memories surrounding Independence Day. By no means do I want to give up fireworks - ever. So here are a couple of safety tips and reminders to have a safe holiday without compromising the fun.
1. Water, sunscreen, and bug spray
Let's start with the basics. The 4th is going to be a long, hot day (in most places). These are my favorite sunscreen & favorite non-deet bug spray. And don't forget to hydrate! Remind your kids to take sips every half hour - believe me, they will be too distracted by all the fun to remember themselves.
2. A responsible adult should supervise ALL fireworks activities.
This means someone who hasn't had too many beers ;) Your kids might want to take a turn lighting a firework, but leave the pyrotechnics to the adults. It's a good idea to assign someone (either a parent or neighbor, if you're doing a neighborhood get together) to be the leader when it comes to fireworks. That way, there's no confusion about who's responsible for the show.
3. Buckets of water
Have a couple buckets of water ready to dispose dud fireworks (never relight a dud firework!) and used sparklers. This prevents potential fires, keeps dud fireworks from hurting anyone, and also provides some extra water to douse any fireworks that start acting up.
4. Beware of Sparklers!
Sparklers are the leading cause of all firework-related injuries! Sparkler holders should be standing (never sitting or kneeling) 6 feet apart. Light ONE sparkler at a time in the holder's hand - do not pass the sparklers. Although tempting, they really shouldn't be waved around. Dispose your sparklers in a bucket of water. Safe alternatives for young kids: glow sticks, confetti poppers, & colorful streamers.
Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July! Before you go, make sure to check out our 4th of July favorites - you won't want to celebrate without them!