There used to be a resort around the corner from my house with a sadistic pyromaniac at the helm. At least that’s what I started calling him after the fireworks started — on totally random nights. Often mid-week, well after my daughter was fast asleep.
Blasted out of bed, my daughter was terrified of fireworks. So we’re approaching the 4th of July with some trepidation in this household. I figure we’re not the only ones, so I’ve pulled together some of the best tips for keeping them fear-free throughout the holiday weekend.
To kick it off, a little reminder – some fear is healthy fear!
Almost half the injuries from fireworks in the states are on kids under fourteen. Of those, many are on kids who were watching an adult handling the igniting. So if it’s keeping them far from the fire, that could be a good thing.
But if you’re already headed to a public display, and you’ll be keeping a safe distance, the fear of the noise can be overcome.
1. Make sure your kids are well-rested.
Most fireworks start after dusk, so this can be a tough one, but an irritated, exhausted toddler is more likely to freak out. If they’re super tired — opt for watching them on TV this year.
2. Schedule a practice round.
Want to prepare them for the event? Pull up an old fireworks video on YouTube so they can see what happens when the fireworks explode. You can pump up the volume to give them a sense of the noise (not nearly as loud, of course), but they’ll get a chance to see how cool the colors are without being overwhelmed.
Think of it as the pre-game show for the big thing.
3. Break out the headphones.
Buy noise cancelling headphones or — if your kids can be trusted not to pull them out and eat them — earplugs. If your kids are OK with a little noise but you’re not sure how they’ll react to the first loud bang, lessen the impact.
4. Do your own thing.
Look, I’m not suggesting you put on a mega fireworks show, but if it’s legal in your state, pick up some sparklers and let the kids stand on the porch while Mom or Dad does the show out on the lawn — no noise necessary.
How will you be celebrating the Fourth of July?