Skip to main content

Get updates

Subscribe to Parent-ish

Have a parenting hack to share? Or a topic you'd like to see?

4 ways to keep your Independence Day sparkling and safe!

Children blowing 4th of July pinwheels

Sparklers and fireworks are Independence Day pastimes. Unfortunately for some, this holiday can also include an emergency room visit due to a firework injury. In 2022, more than 10,000 people in the U.S. were treated in hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries – 28% of whom were under 15 years old.  

While burns are the most common injuries, cuts, bumps or bruises can also occur due to firework misuse. Hands and fingers are the most commonly injured body parts (29%) as well as the head, face and ears (19%). Eyes are also commonly injured (16%) and can cause blindness if sustained. 

By following a few tips below, you can make sure your holiday is one to remember – for all the right reasons! 

Follow necessary safety measures: 

  • Always view fireworks from a safe distance. 
  • Avoid loose-fitting clothing while using fireworks. 
  • Never light fireworks near dry grass, brush, leaves or flammable substances. 
  • Never light fireworks indoors. 
  • Point fireworks away from people, pets and homes. 

Sparklers may seem harmless, but can be dangerous: 

  • Sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees. 
  • Small children have little arms that are often too short to hold sparklers at a safe distance. 
  • The AAP suggests waving a flag instead of a sparkler for children under the age of 5. 

Practice injury prevention: 

  • Always have a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby. 
  • Know how to properly operate a fire extinguisher. 
  • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. 
  • If a firework does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate. Pour water on it and dispose of the remains. 
  • Consider wearing both eye and hearing protection around fireworks. 

Leave fireworks to the pros: 

  • Many local communities offer public fireworks displays. Public displays leave the handling and lighting of fireworks to professionals. 

With these precautions in mind, you can make the most of your Independence Day and spend time with family and friends instead of spending time in the emergency room.