For me, summertime is family time. The sun feels great, and spending quality time with your loved ones during picnics and barbecues makes for amazing memories, especially on the 4th of July. For newly pregnant women, summertime can bring about a lot of questions, including the safety of spending Independence Day in the presence of loud and startling fireworks and smoke inhalation. So is it safe to attend 4th of July fireworks during the first trimester?
When it comes to the sound, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explained that your baby's ears are developed by the 20th week of pregnancy, and they can respond to sounds by week 24. This means that in the first trimester of your pregnancy, your baby's ears are not developed enough to hear sounds, What to Expect noted. But the CDC further explained that sounds that feel like a vibration or rumble should be avoided because sound can travel through your body to the womb. If you are far enough away from the fireworks, it should be OK. The CDC suggested that the further away you are from the source of the vibrating or loud noises, the weaker the impact on the baby.
The smoke emitted from fireworks can contain metallic particles as well, noted Eureka Alert, which can be harmful if inhaled in large amounts or if you're in close proximity. But as long as you are far away from the plumes of smoke, it should be fine. Dr. Richard Bensinger told Health Tap that while concentrated smoke from the fireworks can be harmful, if they are ignited outside, they'll be diluted by the air and wind, so it's not likely that you would inhale enough to harm yourself or the baby.
The safety of fireworks during your first trimester lies within your proximity to them. Handling and igniting fireworks yourself can not only expose you to the loud sounds and chemicals, but they can cause serious burns and injuries if they are misused or malfunction.
So as long as you attend the 4th of July fireworks from a distance, far enough from the loud bangs and smoky plumes, it seems to be a safe way to spend your Independence Day. If you are still concerned, you can always watch from inside your car, or at home on the television. Either way, it's good to know that your 4th of July doesn't have to be independent of the exhilarating fireworks displays. (Whether you get to bypass morning sickness is another thing entirely.)