But we learned very early to stay away from fireworks. Once my dad thought he could trust us,
he taught us how to light the little black tablets that grew into ashy gray snakes at the curb. It was very likely my first encounter with a match.
He always bought the fireworks; he was always in charge and very serious about safety. We learned respect.
And, of course, that was a good thing. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that fireworks can result in severe burns, scars and disfigurement that can last a lifetime.
Even fireworks that seem fairly safe, such as sparklers, can reach temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and can burn users and bystanders. Read the ground rules for sparklers here.
The AAP recommends that families leave the fireworks to the experts.
In Arizona, fireworks are illegal. Even sparklers. Read about Arizona fireworks law here.
The National Council on Fireworks Safety urges families to respect local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
If you are going to be in an area where fireworks are legal, check out the Council’s tips for fireworks safety:
- Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket).
- Only use fireworks as intended. Don’t try to alter them or combine them.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
- Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a “designated shooter.”
- Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
- Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.