Does anything better symbolize the celebratory patriotism of Independence Day, set in the backdrop of a warm summer night, than fireworks? The Fourth of July is rapidly approaching, and your little ones (and maybe your teens as well) want you to light off some fireworks. How can you let them have their fun while keeping them safe?
Understand Your Product
Be sure to carefully read all the instructions and every warning label that comes with your fireworks. No warning label on the packaging? Don’t even try it—throw them out. Make sure you’re only using consumer (formerly Class C) fireworks and stay away from the display fireworks (formerly Class B) that are usually set off by professionals at large events. Be extremely wary of fireworks that might have been obtained illegally. It’s not worth it.
Protect Yourself and Others
It’s recommended that anyone lighting off fireworks wear safety glasses to avoid injury. Plan out where people will be sitting and the direction in which the fireworks will be heading beforehand and make sure all onlookers are a safe distance away from you. Most importantly: never ever light fireworks after you’ve been drinking.
Keep Your Kids Away
As much as your kids want to join in on the fun, handling fireworks is strictly adult business. Keep them a safe distance away from the activity, and you should reconsider even letting them play with sparklers. What’s more, don’t let kids pick up pieces of fireworks after you’re all done, as some may still ignite.
Prepare for the Worst
Keep a big bucket of water or hose nearby in case your fireworks turn into a real fire. If someone gets an eye injury from the fireworks, immediately go to the hospital and don’t let the patient touch the eye or rub anything in it.