Avoid firework injuries and keep your family safe on New Year’s Eve
Read our tips to ensure a fun but safe New Year's celebration for your family. Plus, find out what other moms do during their firecracker-free New Year's Eve.
Firework injuries are not uncommon during year-end festivities. In fact, hundreds of families in the Philippines usher in the New Year on a sad note as a result of these firework injuries.
Contrary to what fireworks are believed to do, i.e. drive away evil spirits and bring in good luck, they may bring pain and grief instead — when they result in people getting hurt or maimed.
The thing is, such firework injuries can be avoided, simply by exercising extra caution.
Here are simple reminders that can help keep you and your family safe and injury-free on New Year’s Eve:
If you must, choose your fireworks wisely
- Invest in expertly crafted "branded" fireworks available in stores. Although these are pricier than the cheaper firecrackers that are sold off the side of the road, they are much safer to use. Thus, you may want to consider investing in them, putting safety first over savings.
- Make sure to stay away from firecrackers that have been banned or prohibited. Two examples are the Atomic Big Triangulo and Super Lolo, which were banned because their explosive capacity is so strong that using them increases your chances of getting firework injuries.
Handle with care
A fun light show for your kids can easily turn into a freak show if things go wrong. Make sure to be responsible and exercise caution at all times.
- Place your firecrackers far away from your home and family to prevent accidents and firework injuries.
- Light your fireworks one at a time from a safe position, keeping your hands and face a good distance away.
- Never point firecrackers/fireworks towards people, pets or properties.
- Do not attempt to re-ignite firecrackers. Even if they don’t go off the first time, you must never try to re-light them as the explosive material inside could already have been activated. This means that it may explode at any time, possibly even in your hand.
- Dispose of used firecrackers properly by soaking them in water before throwing them away. This prevents them from catching fire and exploding at cleanup time.
Find other ways to make New Year's Eve fun for the kids
Kids should not play with fireworks. While it may seem like sparklers are safe enough for a child to use, they are still capable of inflicting firework injuries.
Aside from burns to the skin, eye irritation and smoke inhalation, you also run the risk of your child swallowing material from these firecrackers.
Instead of exposing your child to these dangers, find alternative and safe ways to make the New Year’s Eve celebration fun for them.
- Use things you already have at home. For example, homeschooling mom Donna Donor says she simply increases the volume of their stereo and TV sets at home. You can encourage your kids to sing or dance along to music to make things extra lively. Donna also honks her car horn at the stroke of midnight as her way of saying "Happy New Year."
- Use toys to make noise. Mom blogger May Palacpac involves her kids in the fun by giving them toy horns to blow and drums to beat. This is one night when it’s perfectly okay for the kids to make as much noise as they want with their toys, so let them do just that.
- Do things differently. You can even opt to celebrate the New Year quietly, like crafty mom Regina Lomarda, who doesn't buy fireworks for their New Year festivities. “My youngest and I are both asthmatics so smoke is bad for us,” Regina shares. “We also all agreed that it's impractical to blow money on fireworks. So instead my daughters and I celebrate with good food - ham, different cheeses, fruit salad, hot chocolate and wine.”
By choosing alternative and safer ways to welcome the new year, you lower — or better yet, completely eliminate — the risk of firework injuries in your family. This way, you can really start the year on a happy note.
Do you celebrate with firecrackers on New Year's Eve, or do you choose alternative ways to usher in the New Year?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patricia de Castro-Cuyugan
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