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4th of July Fireworks Safety Tips for Kids
By Jonathan Meyer
One of the reasons why the Fourth of July is so enjoyable is because of the perfect combination of warm weather and time spent with the family. It is the perfect backdrop to create memories so it is not surprising that fireworks are often used to cap off the holiday. To ensure that the celebration continues, it is important that everyone, particularly kids, are well-informed about the rules of fireworks safety.
As beautiful as they are, fireworks can be a cause of injury. Research has shown that in one year, there were 9,300 reported incidents of firework-related injuries in the United States. Even worse, deaths can result from improper handling. Most of these are cases due to direct contact such as burns or eye damage, but it can also be because of ingestion leading to poisoning.
The safest way to enjoy the show without the danger is by simply taking the family to see a public fireworks display. That way, the lighting is left in the hands of the professional. This is particularly important because in some states, lighting fireworks at home is illegal. If you still wish to set off your own fireworks, check with the fire department first if you are allowed to do so.
When it comes to child safety tips during Independence Day fireworks, take note that children should never be allowed to handle the explosives themselves. The use of firecrackers, bottle rockets, and even the seemingly harmless sparklers are too dangerous. In fact, sparklers can reach a temperature of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt metals such as gold.
In addition to this, always use fireworks outside where there is enough space and never point them towards your face or hair. Sparks can easily ignite them and lead to injuries. Fireworks are also known to backfire or even fly off in a different direction. Keep a water source such as a garden hose in a nearby area in case of an emergency.
Teach your kids not to use fireworks when near flammable items such as leaves and trees. They easily ignite and cause the fire to spread. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association says that local fire departments answer more than 50,000 calls of fires caused by fireworks each year.
You should only use fireworks that are legal within your area. Teach your kids to identify them by checking to see if they have the name of the manufacturer and instructions. Illegal fireworks are often unlabeled. In addition to this, keep away from banned fireworks like the blockbuster and quarter-pounder. On this note, never try to tweak the fireworks to make them stronger than they are.
When it comes to handling fireworks, they should only be lit one at a time. Do not try to experiment by trying to light them in glass or metal containers. This can cause it to explode, sending shrapnel flying. Also, do not let children relight fireworks that appear to be duds. These can still explode while in hand.
In case of an injury, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. If it is an eye that was hit, under no circumstance should it be touched because it can result in more harm. Even running the eye under water can exacerbate the situation. Burned skin should be placed under cold running water and treated by a doctor.
These 4th of July fireworks safety tips are not just useful for kids. Even those who are young at heart can benefit from them during the holiday.
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