Lighting Up Your Red, White and Blue – Safely

By Catherine Carlton, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross

As an almost Independence Baby, mom missed it by a day, I still consider July 4 one of my favorite holidays. There’s usually a get-together of family and friends; watermelon; ice cream; and, of course, fireworks and sparklers. Some of my fondest childhood birthday parties involve all of the above: my mom’s watermelon ice cream and sparklers as friends sang to me.

Now that I have kids on my own, I have a bit of a hesitation in including sparklers in our festivities. Here are some tips to be sure you can have your fun with your safe holiday:

  • Follow local, county, state laws about fireworks/sparkler use.
  • Have at least one adult supervisor.
  • Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time.
  • Always hold the sparkler at arm’s length from the body and stand at least six feet away from other people.
  • Don’t run with, throw or give a lit sparkler to someone else.
  • Keep unlit sparklers away from lit sparklers.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby.
  • Put matches as well as sparklers/fireworks in water to put them out.
  • Do not step on sparklers/fireworks to put them out.
  • Douse sticks/sparkers even after they’re done burning.
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