KEEPING YOUR KIDS SAFE AT FIREWORK DISPLAYS
Children of all ages love fireworks, in fact, people of all ages love fireworks. And what’s not to love? They are loud, fun, bright and put a smile on everyone’s face.
Whether it be at a significant public display or home in the back garden, fireworks of all sizes and shapes can enthral for hours and are a great investment whether it be for an occasion or just a one-off treat for the family.
Fireworks, however, by their very nature, do carry some risks and if you are the parent of a young child(ren), you may find that fireworks and firework displays fill you with dread.
In all honesty, however, they don’t need to. So long as you know the basics of firework safety and use a little bit of common sense, there is no reason why fireworks should pose any real danger to a child.
Of course, public displays should, and will have, all the safety regulations in place, you should be secure with the knowledge that all bases have been covered with regards to public safety. We are not saying that parents still don’t have to be vigilant when attending these kinds of events, however.
Children, can, and often do, run around the site, so it is vitally important that you know where your child(ren) is(are) at all times. It is all too easy for a child to wander off and find themselves in a part of the firework display area where they shouldn’t be. It doesn’t mean you are a neglectful parent; it means that kids will be kids and you should always be conscious that they can get where water can’t. Always have them close by for peace of mind.
If you are hosting a firework display at home, it is essential that you take everyone’s safety seriously, but even more so when there are children present.
You should ensure that the firework launch area and the bonfire site are entirely cordoned off, and spectators are at least at the minimum safe distances stated for the fireworks your firing.
Only one person should light fireworks as well; this is so there is no confusion as to what fireworks you have fired e.t.c. As well as minimising the risk of returning to a firework that has already been lit but not gone off correctly. The more people involved in the lighting of and the managing of the fireworks and bonfire, the greater the chance is that someone will get injured.
When you have children that love fireworks and are inquisitive to see how they work and want to partake in the lighting of them, it can be challenging to manage. You have to be firm and not let youngsters anywhere near the fireworks though. The risks are far too high, even with adult guidance and supervision, nothing can stop a wayward rocket or firework exploding – it just isn’t worth the risk.
Instead, to keep children entertained, you should let them use sparklers – albeit with close supervision. Sparklers are great for stimulating the senses of young children, but they too pose many risks.
In fact, sparklers were the number one accident complaint on Bonfire night for the last three years, meaning they, in fact, caused more burns than fireworks themselves. Children under five should not use sparklers, yet statistics recently highlighted that it was children under five that received the most treatment for sparkler-caused accidents – so parents do have to portion some of the blame and need to step up and ensure all safety concerns addressed.
You should also be quite mindful of the clothing that you and the children wear. You should wear something that isn’t going to go up in flames should a wayward spark hit you or a child, and you should always ensure that there is a bucket of water at the ready should you need to dispose of the sparkler or need to put out a fire.
Stifling the excitement of Bonfire night is the last thing that we want to do. Fireworks are our thing after all! We just want to ensure everyone can enjoy their fireworks in the safest way possible.