Children and fireworks: how to keep our families safe

Making a booming industry safe for families

Fireworks are a staple this time of year.

Many families include them in their Independence Day celebrations.

But should our children be using them?

"I've seen several injuries where people go back to fireworks because they don't think it is going to go off," says Dr. Joe Liewer, Emergency Medical Director for Mercy Medical Center. "But then it does go off, and they get injured."

Fireworks make for a colorful, booming time during the Fourth of July holiday.

The biggest shows are run by professionals, but several families spend the holiday lighting fireworks of their own.

While adults should be the ones lighting the fireworks, with proper supervision, Dr. Liewer says it is okay for children to light them.

"If you have a child that's being supervised appropriately and you're with them, depending on how old the child is, they can have the firework on the ground, light it, and get away from it as quickly as they can," says Liewer.

Many families also let their children use sparklers around the fourth. While they are not as explosive, they can still pack a punch with the threat of burns.

"Make sure that children stay away from each other, if there is more than one child using a sparkler," says Liewer. "Also, make sure to throw it into a bucket of water as soon as it's done burning."

Dr. Liewer wants families to have fun this Independence Day, but safety should be the number one priority.

"I think the best practice is to light one at a time, so you don't have one fall over and shoot in the wrong direction or something like that," says Liewer.

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