When I was a kid, the little kids would be allowed to play with the "safe" fireworks like sparklers or snap pops while the grown-ups were handling the more dangerous fireworks — fountains, bottle rockets, spinners, and firecrackers . It wasn't uncommon to see a group 2-year-olds running around the beach, holding lit sparkles and waving them around and around. It wasn't until I had my own kids that I wondered, "Is it safe to give a toddler sparklers?"
The answer, according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC), is a resounding no — it is not safe for a toddler to hold sparklers. The CSPC warned that sparklers can reach up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is as hot as a blow torch which requires the use of a safety mask. Kids Health From Nemours warned that the temperature reached by a sparkler is enough to melt gold.
Any direct touch can light a child's clothing on fire or cause serious burns to the skin. The CSPC reported that in 2014 there were an estimated 1,400 emergency department-treated injuries associated with sparklers. This accounted for 19 percent of all firework-related injuries, and 61 percent of the total sparkler-related injuries were of children under age five.
If your little one still wants to feel like part of the action, consider investing in multicolored glow sticks that will light up nicely at night and your kids can wave around, or wear as bracelets or necklaces.
Because glow sticks contain dibutyl phthalate a clear, oily, colorless liquid that is low in toxicity but can cause irritation, children should not place them in their mouths where they can bite through the plastic according to the Carolinas Poison Center.
In case of accidental ingestion of the liquid, the Carolinas Poison Center recommends to wipe the child's mouth with a clean wet washcloth, over the tongue and around the gum line and give the child up to four ounces of water and call your local poison control center for their recommendations.
The safest 4th of July party favors are those that don't come with dangers of heat or chemicals. Pinwheels are always a favorite, and you can find countless craft ideas for paper or ribbon "sparklers" on Pinterest. If they want something to light up the night, consider visiting your local party supply store for tiny hand-held flashlights like the kind kids use during Halloween.