The 4th of July ushers in plenty of patriotic festivities for fun-loving Americans, but parents need to keep in mind that the magical sparkles of the day can be dangerous.
It wouldn’t be the 4th of July without parades, cookouts, and fireworks. But as magical as fireworks can be, they are inherently dangerous. Help ensure a safe celebration by following these guidelines from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Council on Fireworks Safety.
- Never let children play with fireworks—not even unlit ones.
- Adults should keep a bucket of water and hose close at hand when lighting fireworks.
- Read all warning labels and follow all instructions before using fireworks. The shooter should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
- Make sure other adults and children are at a safe distance before lighting fireworks.
- Only light fireworks outside on a smooth, flat surface.
- Light fireworks away from the house, dry leaves, or any other flammable material.
- Never relight a dud firework. Instead, wait 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Dispose of fireworks properly by soaking them in water and then disposing of them in your trash.
- Sparklers are dangerous! They burn at such high temperatures that they can burn clothing.
Additionally, you should only buy fireworks from reputable sellers and avoid illegal explosives. The National Council on Fireworks Safety website (www.fireworksafety.com/laws.htm) can help you learn your state’s regulations for consumer fireworks allowed by law.