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Safety and Inclusion for a Fearless Fourth of July

  • Home Maintenance,
  • stress management,
  • Behavioral Health

For many, each fourth of July holiday wraps up with a booming firework display that lights up the night sky with colors of red, white, and blue. While this tradition is exciting, there are some things you should keep in mind to ensure you and those around you all have a safe and fun day. 


Be Mindful of Those Around You. 

For some people, these firework displays can be a bit too much. They often lead to panic and distress among those who suffer from sensory challenges and other health problems. 


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is common in veterans who have seen traumatic events while in combat, as well as others who have experienced a life-threatening event. Oftentimes, people who suffer from this disorder can become triggered by environmental stimuli such as fireworks. The bright lights and bursting sounds can easily take them back to the traumatic experience they had (such as combat, a car accident, an explosion) and make it difficult to celebrate. 


Sensory Issues 

Sensory issues occur when people are unable to quickly process and integrate incoming information. These issues are extremely prevalent in children who are on the autism spectrum. Fireworks can overload their senses, leading to pain and anxiety. Think about it, firework displays are full of sudden loud noises, and brightly colored patterns of light in the dark sky, all while being around many people who are excitedly chatting with their friends and family that are with them. It is a lot to take in. 


If you or a loved one struggles with these conditions, consider doing these things: 


  1. Pack a bag of comfort items
    • Some of these things may include medications, blankets, and maybe even a treat!

  2. Find a more private space to watch the show 
    • Watch from a distance by selecting an area that is further away from where the display is located (this minimizes the noise and crowds while maximizing personal space)
    • Some places that can provide you this privacy are the back and side areas of the audience sections or even from your car by finding a good spot to park

  3. Set expectations
    • To adapt to the sights and sounds of firework displays, watch them on YouTube first (with the sound on)
    • Communicate how long the show is expected to last 
    • Provide a choice to opt out if it becomes too much
    • Write down the fun parts about firework displays to look forward to going  (ex: Fireworks are pretty and they allow me to spend quality time with my family)


Practice Fire Safety 

Each year, more than 19,500 fires are started by fireworks. Be sure to keep these things in mind to keep your home safe from fireworks:


  1. Remove dry brush from around your home and clean your gutters.
    • According to firefighters, this is the most important thing you can do to prevent a fire from spreading. A tiny spark could quickly ignite dry leaves, pine needles, or brush and lead to a fire 

  2. Utilize sprinklers
    • Put them in your front and back yard to quickly extinguish a flame if one occurs 

  3. Trim trees and bushes 
    • If an overgrown tree catches fire and the branches are near your house, it can quickly cause a fire

  4. The best and safest way to enjoy fireworks is at public displays conducted by professionals
    If fireworks are legal in your state and you choose to use them:
    • Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of fire
    • Soak sparklers in water for a couple of hours before discarding
    • Keep fireworks away from people, houses, and flammable material 
    • Don't light fireworks in a container 
    • Don't use illegal fireworks



Being mindful of all these things can help ensure that you and others around you have a wonderful day celebrating Independence Day! For more information, check out these sources below








Dynamite Fireworks 


Parenting Special Needs