Have Fun on the Fourth - Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

The Fourth of July and fireworks—it’s hard to think about one without the other. And it’s no wonder. The tradition is as old as the country itself. On the eve of the first Independence Day, founding father John Adams predicted future generations would celebrate with “Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other.”

There is something singularly summertime about the pops and crackles of fireworks, the spectacular burst of colors against a balmy night sky. For children, especially, it can seem almost like magic. At Safe Kids, we want to make sure it stays that way.

It probably goes without saying that fireworks pose inherent dangers, especially to the littlest ones. More than 4,200 children ages 0 to 9 visited the hospital for firework-related injuries in 2022, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Seven percent of those children were injured badly enough to be hospitalized.

The best way to keep your family safe with fireworks is to leave it to the professionals. Don’t use them at home; attend public fireworks displays instead. And while sparklers may seem like a staple of Fourth of July celebrations, they are not safe for children. They burn at extremely high temperatures— as much as 1,200 degrees F°—and are hot enough to melt glass and cause serious eye injuries and burns. We recommend letting kids use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun and are far safer.

If you do decide to light fireworks yourself, be extra careful: Don’t wear loose clothes when handling fireworks or matches and never use fireworks indoors. Outside, point them away from homes and people, and make sure you’re far away from brush, leaves, dry grass, and flammable substances.

Here’s some other tips to help you and your family stay safe:

Keep Your Distance. Make sure everyone is far back from where the fireworks are being lit.

Don’t Investigate. If a firework doesn’t go off, don’t stand over it. Have a bucket of water nearby to make sure it’s out.

Prepare for Problems. In addition to posing serious safety risks, fireworks can also cause fires (and in fact, burns made up 32% of all fireworks injuries in 2021, according to the CPSC.) Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to operate it.

Dispose Safely. When you’re done with the fireworks, douse the remains with a bucket of water before disposing of them to avoid a trash fire.

Please consider sharing these tips with family and friends. We wish all of you a safe and happy Fourth of July!