Firework Safety for Everyone

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   Pets and young kids can be extra sensitive to fireworks. Here are a few suggestions on making it a safe experience for everyone.

   Many Americans will be celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks. Whether they’re being shot off in the backyard or at a firework show, or being heard in the distance, fireworks will be part of our lives in some way.

   Alcohol

Alcohol and fireworks never mix.

   Young children

Little arms are too short to use sparklers, which can heat up to 2,000 degrees. Use glow sticks as a fun alternative. Sparklers are not recommended for children under the age of 5. For young children over 5 that insist on sparklers, try bamboo ones or put the sparkler through a plastic cup so the cup protects the child from the hot metal and sparks.

   Pets

So many animals, especially dogs, run away and get lost over the firework season. It is easy to understand why if you consider fireworks from the dog’s point of view. They are much louder to our pets. While we expect to hear a loud boom during a firework show, dogs do not and can be very startled. Similar to our reaction when we get startled by a very loud noise, their heart rate races, they have a surge in adrenaline and they experience a sudden increase in a stress hormone circulating throughout their body, which causes them to run away. Fireworks are also very different then thunderstorms. Storms come with a lot of warning signs, including a change in the barometric pressure and high winds, so they can anticipate the storm. If you find yourself with your pet around fireworks, stay calm. Making a big fuss only reassures them there is a reason to panic. Staying relaxed and calm shows the dog there is no danger.

   Firework safety tips for pets

•Don’t ever bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.

•If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe interior room to avoid exposure to sound.

•Make sure your pet has an identification tag in case it runs off during a firework display

•Never shoot off fireworks of any kind, including sparklers, near pets.

   Firework safety tips for everyone

The National Council of Firework Safety suggests the following tips for staying safe around fireworks:

•Only use fireworks outdoors.

•Use fireworks as directed.

•Obey all local laws regarding use of fireworks.

•Never give young children fireworks.

•Wear safety glasses.

•Always have a bucket of water nearby.

   Fireworks are so much fun and we have so many reasons to celebrate this great nation. Following some basic safety rules will keep you, your family and your friends safe this firework season. Your young children are watching, and modeling safe practices will keep them safe in the future when they shoot off fireworks with their friends and future family.