Independence Day is coming, and for many families, that means fireworks, big and small. If handled improperly, fireworks can cause serious injury, so if you do enjoy a fireworks show at home, carefully follow some safety precautions to make sure that you and your kids can have a fun, injury-free night.
* First, make sure that fireworks are legal in your area. According to Reader’s Digest, regulations vary from state to state, and one state, Massachusetts, bans all fireworks entirely. Check state and local regulations to ensure that you’re in compliance, or else you risk a fine or worse.
* Store your fireworks in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children. Never try to make your own fireworks.
* Do not let children play with fireworks, including firecrackers, rockets and sparklers. If you do decide to give your child a sparkler, do it outside and make sure your child keeps the sparkler well away from their body. Sparklers can reach 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, according to KidsHealth, and according to Vanderbilt Children’s Health, are often the cause of serious injury requiring an emergency department visit.
* Don’t allow kids to pick up fireworks after use. Some pieces might still be ignited and can explode.
* Never allow children to light fireworks. Do not relight “dud” fireworks.
* Make sure kids, pets and other adults are safely out of range before you attempt to light any firework.
* Dispose of fireworks by soaking them in water and then putting them in a trash can.