Fourth of July Safety


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Of all the holidays throughout the year, the Fourth of July typically presents the greatest risk of fire danger and injuries for adults and children. Unsafe use of fireworks, sparklers and glow sticks are a serious concern. These products can be potentially harmful to individuals of all ages. So, before you swirl around a sparkler, light a firework or sport a glow stick around your neck or wrist, keep in mind these precautions to ensure the safety of you and everyone around you.

As usual, the Fourth of July celebrations show many types of fireworks and other explosives. Fireworks can be very exciting and fun to watch; however they have the potential to become very dangerous to the people lighting them as well as the bystanders. When lighting fireworks, make sure you follow the instructions and the warnings on the labels. If a firework does not burn when you light it, do not try and light it again, this can pose huge injury risks. Did you know that most firework accidents are a result of people going back to light a firework which did not light the first time? The safest choice, if you want to see fireworks on the Fourth of July, is to attend a local event, where you can watch a fireworks display created by professionals. This will be much safer for you, your family and your friends.

Sparklers are a great way to light up the night on the Fourth of July. As exciting as these items may seem to small children, it is important that they be used only by children 5 years of age or older. Children younger than 5 years old are too young to understand how to use them properly. When using sparklers make sure your child’s clothes are tight-fitting, so the sparkler does not catch fire on the clothes. If you have children with longer hair, make sure their hair is tied back since it is very easy for long hair to catch fire. Keep Sparklers away from other people and when the sparkler is finished, place it (hot end down) into a bucket of water. Do not put the sparkler on the ground – it can end up piercing a foot or starting a fire!

Glow sticks are very popular. Like other products, it has the potential to become very dangerous if not used properly. Although, glow sticks have very low potential of catching fire, glow sticks can create hazards if the plastic is punctured or torn. The chemicals used in glow sticks can cause irritation to the skin and if consumed orally can become very harmful. If this does occur, dispose of the glow stick immediately. Wash your hands (or any other part of the body which may have been exposed to the chemicals) with soap and water. If any part of the glow stick is consumed orally, see a doctor and call the US National Poison Helpline immediately at 1-800-222-1222. If a pet has ingested the chemical, call the US Animal Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6800. For more information on glow sticks and glow stick safety, check out

Whatever you decide to do for the Fourth of July holiday make sure to have fun, be safe and respect the people around you.

Jill Nelson is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her children when she isn’t working as a contributing editor for sites writing safety articles on topics such as Glow Sticks for sites like .


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