Independence Day SafetyBy Child Safety Specialist Jun 28 , 2010 | 10:45:00 amPosted in: Child Safety, Family, Personal Safety
The summer is already speeding by – I can’t believe that Fourth of July is almost here! I absolutely love how simple yet traditional it is. It always feels like a Norman Rockwell picture. Do you have traditional celebrations? For us, it’s a day at the beach or pond (this year it will be a pool) followed by a picnic dinner at the high school field watching fireworks. I still remember being a teenager and agonizing over what to wear in case some cute boy would be there.
I’m not sure, though, when all of the vendors selling fireworks started popping up on every street corner. I probably didn’t pay as much attention to it until I had kids and started worrying about whether they would be in proximity to some firecracker that accidentally exploded.
In 2007, approximately 7,000 people were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries and half of these were children under the age of 15. I remember being at a party one year and watching a dad shoot off fireworks with a bunch of kids nearby. It absolutely made me cringe.
But it’s not just fireworks. Sparklers caused half of the injuries to children under the age of 5. The same parents who wouldn’t ever allow their children to go near matches for some reason see no problem with them holding sparklers at Fourth of July. What they probably don’t realize is that sparklers can get as hot as 1,200° F!
So, it’s easy enough to give tips about staying a safe distance away from fireworks and sparklers and keep water or a fire extinguisher around but the bottom line is – go see a professional fireworks display somewhere and stick with glow-in-the-dark necklaces as something your kids can hold!
There are a few safety precautions to consider even when going to a professional fireworks display:
• It will be dark when the show starts – make sure if your kids are wandering around that they are back with you before dark.
• Put a piece of reflective tape on the back of their clothes to help keep track of them as you’re leaving and always bring two flashlights with you (in case the batteries run out on one.)
• Be sure your kids know your cell phone number and address in case they get lost on the way out.
• If your kids are going to a fireworks show with a friend, give the parents a recent photo of your child and memorize what clothes they were wearing so that you can easily describe it to officials.
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