It’s that time again, when the Up North’s shorelines explode in a flurry of sound and color. From fountains to airborne beauties to kids with sparklers trying to write their names in the night sky, fireworks are a part of many family Fourth of July celebrations.
One catch: Amid all the fun, it’s often easy to forget that fireworks can be dangerous. Safe Kids Michigan doesn’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but they do want adults to be very aware of the dangers fireworks pose to children.
Of the more than 4,000 fireworks-related injuries to children under 14 each year, the majority occur in the month surrounding the Fourth of July, with older kids (typically 10- to 14-year-olds) suffering the most injuries. Sparklers (often considered the safest fireworks), rockets and firecrackers are responsible for the bulk of fireworks-related injuries.
"Parents and caregivers must be aware of the danger associated with fireworks," says Janet Olszewski, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, the lead agency for Safe Kids Michigan. "We don't want parents and guardians to overestimate their child's ability to handle fireworks. Fireworks are not toys and they have devastating consequences, including injuries to the hands, eyes, or head that can sometimes result in amputations, blindness, or even death."
Here are some Safe Kids’ tips to a colorful and accident-free Fourth of July:
For more information on fireworks safety, visit usa.safekids.org and click on media center and then click on Seasonal Safety.