When I was a kid, fireworks were available and no one thought twice about lighting them up for the Fourth of July. We would pick up supposedly child-friendly things like sparklers, morning glories, and those pop or snap type of fireworks (I forget the name.) My mom had some limits – no firecrackers or anything titled with letters and numbers (like M80.) Those were reserved for the adults and children had to be far away from the action.
Where we live, we have plenty of access to firework viewing without taking part of the action. I actually prefer this and can drive to various locations throughout this wonderful city to see some amazing displays, such as the Macy’s Fireworks. This year, we spent the Fourth with family and friends, and shared lots of laughs, great company and delicious food. When one of the parents had a few sparklers for the kids, later on in the day, I was hesitant but allowed my daughter to hold a sparkler. This went on for a good part of the night and kept my husband in charge of supervising her because I wasn’t comfortable with her holding a spitting stick of fire, but he assured me she would be fine. After all, the other kids were also holding sparklers and she couldn’t be left out. (Peer pressure starting early?) My husband also brought up a point that when we were kids, we had access to worse fireworks and with correct supervision, nothing would happen.
But, when there is fire and active children, no matter how much supervision you have, there may be injuries. My daughter got burned from a sparkler and I’m not sure how it happened, but from what I understand she picked up a sparkler from the ground that was no longer sparking. Whether that’s what actually happened or not, we have all learned a few lessons:
- Even though “we did worse and nothing happened to us” may be true, there is a reason why fireworks should be kept to the professionals.
- Children + Fire = danger. It doesn’t matter if its for a special occasion or not. It’s never a good equation.
- Supervision does not ensure safety. Things happen in the blink of an eye. There were 6 adults around when my daughter got burned. Not one of them could have prevented it in any other way than by not giving her a sparkler.
So please, when you decide to light fireworks, make sure the kids are a safe distance away, and keep them out of the action. Fireworks are best enjoyed at a distance.