The “pop-pop-popping” of the neighborhood firecrackers should begin any time now. The last few years I have been fortunate enough to opt-out of fireworks, as my young children haven’t demanded them. This year, however, may be different, and I am grateful for the tips provided by the CPSC designed to prevent unnecessary injuries from the handling of fireworks.

The statistics cited by the CPSC have suggested that injuries have increased during the past years, and this concerns me. With the majority of injuries affecting the hands, eyes, and legs, I often think of my children and how to keep them safe.

The full story on safety can be found at the CPSC website, but they suggest the following tips for every use of fireworks:

  • Never allow young children to play with or light fireworks. Always have an adult on hand to supervise. Sparklers are often marketed to younger children, but cause many injuries to kids under five. (The temperature of lit sparklers can reach 2,000 – hot enough to melt metal.)
  • Know the laws for you area; It may not even be legal to buy or use them where you live.
  • If the packaging for purchased fireworks comes in plain brown paper packaging, they may have been intended for professional displays only. Avoid these if at all possible.
  • Don’t hover above a fireworks product while lighting. Stand back and move away quickly and to a safe distance after lighting
  • If a firework doesn’t light the first time, don’t try to relight it (likewise with one that has not functioned fully.)
  • Do not throw or point fireworks at another person, an animal, or property.
  • Keep water on hand in case of a mishap (a bucket of water or garden hose works well.)
  • Avoid carrying fireworks in a pocket, and do not light them from a metal or glass container.
  • When the firework has finished its display, douse it with water before throwing it in the trash to avoid a garbage fire.

Lastly, if the situation doesn’t allow for you to consistently follow safety guidelines (children are running around, the weather is poor, or you aren’t certain of the product use), it is best not to use them at all. A safe holiday is the best time of all – even if it doesn’t result in all the lights and glory!