Sparklers are not harmless. Here are other ways to celebrate the Fourth of July with kids

Sparklers are a hit with kids. But reaching temperatures of 3000-degrees Fahrenheit they send hundreds of kids to the ER each year. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sparklers light up the night as a Fourth of July tradition. Especially for little ones.

They’re easy to hold, less scary sounding than the bigger fireworks and a way to join in on the fun. 

Yet burningat up to 2,000 degrees , sparklers are a leading cause for sending very young children to the emergency room each year. 

Doctors treated 500 people for injuries in 2018 and 54 percent of them were ages 5 and younger, reported the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  

For this reason, the CPSC urges parents “never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers.” 

But if parents are lighting fireworks or sparklers, the safety organization offers these tips: 

  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another or occupied area.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire.
  • Never try to relight or handle a malfunctioning firework.
  • Soak sparklers in water and throw them away.
  • After fireworks complete burning, douse in a bucket of water or hose to prevent a trash fire.

Fun, kid-friendly alternatives to sparklers

Kids don’t have to miss out. Here are some other ways to bring sight and sound to the Independence Day celebration.

Bamboo sparklers: Unlike metal sparklers, bamboo handles don’t reach the same high temperatures for added safety.  

Glow sticks: They provide the light and go on all night. Get them in festive red, white and blue colors. 

Party Poppers: Bring some pop into the night with a pack of party confetti poppers.

Bubbles: Kids can’t resist blowing and chasing bubbles. The best part is the easy clean up. 

Glow sticks are a safe alternative to sparklers on July 4th. (Photo: Getty Images)

Fireworks send many to the ER

The CPSC reminds everyone that there were at least five deaths related to fireworks last year, and the safety organization hasn’t yet completed its review. Staff reports 121 fireworks-related deaths between 2003 and 2018, the organization said. 

Other fireworks-related ER visits late year included: 

  • 200 cases because of bottle rocket injuries.
  • 44% of the ER staff treated burn injuries.
  • 1,000 cases associated with firecrackers. Of these, an estimated 33% were associated with small firecrackers, an estimated 13% with illegal firecrackers, and an estimated 54% had no specific information.
  • 28% were for hands and finger injuries.
  • 24% were for leg injuries.
  • 19% were for eye injuries.
  • 15% were for head, face and ear injuries.
  • 4% were for arm injuries. 

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