Backyard fireworks not worth the risk for families

Backyard fireworks not worth the risk for families

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Fireworks are a major source of injury around the Fourth of July holiday, especially for children and teens. Last year, more than 10,000 Americans received emergency treatment for fireworks injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). A third were children under age 15.

Even sparklers are dangerous because they burn at extremely high heat and can seriously burn skin, cause eye injuries, and set clothing on fire. Nearly half of fireworks injuries in children under 5 are related to sparklers, according to the CPSC.

Scary statistics aside, what's a family supposed to do on July Fourth if there are no fireworks? We compiled a few ideas from around the web that promise a fun Independence Day celebration without the safety risks:

  • Watch fireworks on TV. You can watch some spectacular displays on your television set this year, including the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks on NBC and the Capitol Fourth fireworks display and concert in D.C. on PBS. Consult your local newspaper or TV station for information about events specific to your community.
  • Watch Hamilton. Disney is releasing a movie version of the very popular Broadway musical Hamilton on July 3. To see it, you'll need to sign up for Disney Plus streaming services. A month-to-month subscription costs $6.99 a month. Or choose another patriotic movie to watch. This list from Redbook may give you some ideas.
  • Bring out some firework alternatives. Glow sticks, confetti poppers, flags, silly string, party crackers, jumbo bubbles, piñatas, and classic pinwheels can provide lots of patriotic fun without the risks of sparklers and fireworks. Check out these suggestions from Better Homes & Gardens, including how to make your own pinwheels.
  • Make a s'mores buffet. This yummy idea from CNN could be the grand finale to your family's backyard barbecue. Set up a buffet line of ingredients and take turns roasting marshmallows over a grill or campfire. You could offer different types of chocolate, sliced strawberries, peanut butter cups, and more. Here's a link to some creative s'mores inspiration from a mother-daughter duo.
  • Fourth of July quizzes, coloring pages, and online tours: You can find American history quizzes and Capitol Fourth printable coloring pages on the PBS Fourth of July activities page.
  • You can also visit historical sites online, including the Statue of Liberty and George Washington's home, Mount Vernon.

For more summer fun ideas, check out our page on boredom-busters for babies and toddlers. You can also get additional information on fireworks safety and children.

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