'Tis the season.
No, this isn't about a Christmas in July thing. It is about the American tradition of buying kids fireworks in the weeks before the 4th of July.
Unfortunately, the tradition isn't just about kids having fun with fireworks, it is also about kids getting life-threatening injuries and burns. In fact, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reports that there were over 9,000 injuries that needed to be treated in emergency rooms because of fireworks. And almost half of these injuries are to kids under age 14.
Does that mean that you need to be safer as you let your kids play with fireworks, maybe supervising them a little closer and keeping a bucket of water close at hand in case they get burned?
No, it means leaving fireworks to professionals and taking your kids to a fireworks show. You are keeping your kids safe, not depriving them, by not buying them fireworks.
Most parents are fortunate to have plenty of professional fireworks shows to see where they live, including fireworks shows put on by:
- large cities, such as the Fair Park Fourth - The Official City of Dallas fireworks show, the Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Show in New York City, Caesars Palace 4th of July Fireworks in Las Vegas, or the Americafest 2008 4th of July Celebration at the Rose Bowl
- smaller fireworks shows put on by smaller towns and cities
- fireworks shows at ball games, beach resorts, amusement parks, etc.
This year, instead of heading to your local fireworks stand, join the Alliance to Stop Consumer Firework, a group of health and safety organizations, coordinated by National Fire Protection Association, that urges people to avoid the use of consumer fireworks and to instead enjoy displays of fireworks conducted by trained professionals.
Still thinking of buying your kids fireworks?
Do you understand the safety risks, which the American Academy of Pediatrics states can include devastating burns, other injuries, fires and even death?
Keep in mind that even sparklers, which can reach 1000 degrees and cause up to half of all fireworks related injuries to kids under age five, are dangerous. In fact, overall, sparklers lead to about 10% of all fireworks related injuries.
How will you spend your 4th of July, in the ER with your child or watching a fireworks show?