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A close up on a woman's hand holding two sparklers, both are lit

Tips for a Safe Holiday Weekend

A close up on a woman's hand holding two sparklers, both are lit

It’s nearly the 4th of July, and many of us are probably planning on viewing fireworks sometime this weekend. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks display put on by professionals. State law prohibits the use of consumer and display fireworks in Pennsylvania without a permit, so leave this activity to the experts.

If you go to a public fireworks display, make sure to sit at least 500 feet away from the show. Each year many people experience damage to their hearing as a result of fireworks, so the further you sit from where they’re going off, the safer you’ll be. Ear plugs or headphones that cover the ear may offer protection to children’s ears, but infants should not be exposed to fireworks at all.

If you see any leftover pieces of fireworks after the show, do not let your children pick them up because they may still be ignited or could explode at any time. It’s also best to leave your dog at home as most pets become frightened or stressed by the loud noise of fireworks.

Although sparklers are a fun way to celebrate the holiday at home, they are not safe for children. Their arms are too short to hold sparklers far enough away from their bodies, and sparklers can heat up to 1,200 degrees. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers account for more than one quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries. A better way to let kids have fun after it gets dark is to give them glow sticks to play with instead. If you do use sparklers, follow these precautions:

• Always read and follow instructions carefully

• Use them outside in an open area

• Only light one sparkler at a time

• Place used sparklers in a bucket of water prior to disposing of them

Have a fun and safe holiday weekend!

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