After you've had your fill of burgers and pie, the best way to round out your Independence day fun is by taking in a fireworks show. Nothing feels more American than watching a cool pyrotechnics show set to patriotic tunes. But now that you have a set of littles to celebrate the U.S.A. with you, it's valid to wonder "should you take your kids to 4th of July fireworks." Of course you want your children to come along and join in the fun, but there are some points that need addressing before you head out to the show.
Depending on the age of your child, you want to make sure you have prepared them in advance for watching fireworks. When it comes to fireworks and toddlers, the biggest concern is how the loud boom of explosives could potentially harm your child's ears and hearing. According to the website for The Bump, if you can feel the vibration from the fireworks, you are in the danger zone. Since fireworks can exceed 155 decibels, being too close increases the risk of damaging anyone's hearing, including your child, according to the website for the Acoustic Hearing Center . So if your body is booming along with the explosions, it's time to find you and your family another seat, with more distance from the action.
Although the loud noises of a fireworks show should be considered carefully before taking your kids, it's also a good idea to prepare them for what happens at these events by explaining there will be loud booms, as Babble pointed out. So if you just can't skip the tradition, try to plan ahead and take some preventative measures. As Mother & Baby magazine pointed out, protecting your child's ears from fireworks can be accomplished in a few ways. Lessen the impact of the loud noise by either putting headphones on your child, using toddler-sized ear plugs, or watching from inside a house, building or car.
Aside from the extreme volume of fireworks, seeing a spectacle of lights could be scary for a toddler. Since you don't know how your baby will react to the show, the website Everyday Family suggested keeping a distance a few miles away at first to see how your child reacts. This is a tip I wish I had read before taking my first son to a fireworks show when he was 2 years old. Because believe me when I say, it's neither fun nor easy to make your way through a crowd of spectators while trying to both hold and cover the ears of a screaming toddler.
But toddlers aren't the only ones who need to protect their ears, kids of any age are susceptible to sudden and permanent hearing loss from fireworks, according to Perdue University. Another point to consider, if your school-aged child has never attended a fireworks show before, is if they are regularly sensitive to noise. As the website for the March of Dimes pointed out, if your child doesn't like everyday loud noises, you will need to make a plan to protect their ears during a fireworks show. To help your child avoid discomfort, try noise canceling headphones, earbuds with their own music, or watching from very far away.
If you're wondering if taking your kids to 4th of July fireworks is the right move for you, take it slow and ease into the action. If things go well — great. You'll be making it a tradition. But if things go south, you can have an escape plan ready and enjoy the show on TV from the comfort of your couch. Either way, you'll be making Independence Day memories with your child, and that's what matters most.