I’ve handled fireworks on holidays, and I’ve seen kids much younger than me handle, play with, and even help light small fireworks for backyard shows and family gatherings. There was adult supervision, fire extinguishers, and every kid knew the rules of fireworks before they got started.
However, it wasn’t until much later that I discovered the danger of fireworks, and even with all the precautions that my family took, I was still always on edge about fireworks going off. They are basically explosives, and now I understand that.
The problem with fireworks
Fireworks are marketed as fun toys, but they are not. Most fireworks can injure the face, hands, and eyes if they explode prematurely, and when injuries happen they often burn or cause loss of sight or otherwise injure those three body parts.
People have gone blind, burned their hands, or have had facial injuries when fireworks are used improperly or an accident occurs. Even if the people come away without injuries, fires can be caused by sparks or even misfires, destroying buildings and vehicles before they are put out.
The smaller rockets and crackers are thought to be less harmless than the larger ones, but fireworks prove that the big bangs come in small packages, with some sparkers getting hotter than 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. Even one errant spark can cause some serious problems, for both the holder and the environment around them.
Thinking of them as toys
No one talks about that, because fireworks are supposed to be fun. However, most young kids have problems understanding that fireworks aren’t toys, and some kids might even try shooting the rockets at one another, other objects, or even try to tie them together.
While adults understand the risk and the danger posed by fireworks, children do not, and will not be as conscious or wary of them as adults are. Fireworks need to be thought of as something dangerous that only adults can use, and preferably kept out of the hands of children altogether.
In order to avoid the danger, consider going to a professional fireworks display and watching there, or staying in and watching the excitement on TV. You are safest when a trained professional with experience goes and takes on the task of lighting the fireworks, keeping you and your children safe while still giving one great light show.
Treating them as tools
The best way to avoid danger is to let adults (or even better, professionals) launch the fireworks, do research on how to safely store and handle different types of fireworks, and let kids know the very real danger and why only adults can handle them safely and they shouldn’t be used unsupervised.
This shouldn’t make backyard and other firework displays any less fun or interesting for people, especially kids, but it does mean that safety needs to be just as much of a concern as fun. That way no one gets hurt or burned, and everyone can celebrate the holiday!