Whether you are heading out to a local park, or hosting friends and family in your back yard, you need to remember that events with fireworks result in a lot of unexpected injuries and visits to hospital emergency rooms. As fun as all those pyrotechnics are, there are a lot of hazards to be avoided. Here are my tips for making the event go smoothly:
- Fireworks start at dusk which is around 9:30pm this time of year, so it’s past little kids’ bedtimes. Be mindful that tots are clumsy when they are tired, so keep closer supervision.
- Dress wee ones in their jammies, which are both comfy and flame retardant. Tie back long hair into a braid or pony tail.
- Dusk also means the bugs will be out so pack bug repellent too. (No deet, please).
- See if they can nap in the afternoon or sleep for a bit in their stroller or their car seat until the big event begins.
- Sparklers and firecrackers have the highest incident rate for injuries, accounting for 19% and 20% respectively. Review the safety rules of handling a sparkler before lighting. Have a pail of sand on hand to plunge sparklers into in order for them to cool off. If your child is afraid of the sparkles, make a guard like you see on a sword by poking a hole in a big plastic cup and feeding the sparkler through. Be sure the plastic is far enough away from the sparkler heat that it doesn’t melt the cup.
- Whoever is in charge of pyrotechnics needs to know all the safety rules for setting them off (including possible city licences and by-laws). Save your alcoholic libations for AFTER the big display since your full attention should be available for setting them off properly and for supervising children in close proximity to fire and explosives.
- Fireworks are very loud. Pack a pair of headphones to make the experience more enjoyable for sensitive children.
Be Safe and enjoy!