Fourth of July safely
Each year, hundreds of adults and children in the U.S. visit the ER with fireworks-related injuries. Play it safe this year with one of these fun alternatives to fireworks.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 200 people a day visit the ER with fireworks-related injuries during and around July. As you celebrate the Fourth of July, ditch the fireworks and play it safe with a fun alternative.
Glow sticks are a safe, fun alternative to sparklers. Get the same effect as sparklers when you wave them around, but avoid the risk of serious burns and other injuries. Try picking up glow sticks and glow jewelry in bulk online for the kids at heart in your family. For an extra fun take on glow sticks, toss them in a swimming pool or baby pool at night. (Premier Glow, $1)
Help little kids make their own "fireworks" with goods you probably already have in your kitchen. All you need are ice cream sprinkles, water and white paper. Lorie from Reading Confetti shares her take on this fun craft and pictures of the results.
Skip real rockets and firecrackers and make your own paper firecrackers. Perfect for barbecue centerpieces or for keeping kids occupied during backyard bashes, these simple crafts take the ouch and boom out of fireworks. Penny Springmann shares a free printable and directions to get you started. All you'll need are toilet paper rolls, basic art supplies and fun treats to stuff inside of the firecrackers.
From water balloon to splash toys, water can make or break a summer barbecue. This year, make water the centerpiece instead of fireworks. Even adults can join in the fun with inexpensive sliding and spraying toys or water balloon fights. Kim Byers of The Celebration Shoppe shares her water-themed summer celebration with photos by Angie Arthur Photography. If you can really splurge, consider renting or purchasing an inflatable with a waterslide element. (Wal-Mart, $349)
If you crave something exploding on the Fourth of July, try a pinata. While safer than fireworks, a pinata still gives you a thrill as kids and grown-ups take turns trying to break it open. Try a giant firecracker pinata for a red, white and blue celebration. (Party City, $30)
Make your own pinata
: Break from traditional animal pinata shapes with a modern, geometric design. Click here
to learn how!
Thanks to color runs all over the U.S., paint fights have become a popular way to celebrate everything from birthdays to gender reveals. For the Fourth of July, throw a red, white and blue paint fight. Remember to encourage participating guests to wear white clothes that can stand a few stains. Have a hose and towels on hand for cleaning off, and make sure young guests wear protective goggles. Ashley from Cute as a Fox shares her favorite paint fight tips and photos.
A note on sparklers
Even sparklers can be dangerous. In fact, they contribute to the largest number of injuries related to fireworks each year. Caroline Jorgenson, blogger and mom of two, learned this the hard way when her son suffered a golf ball sized second degree burn on his foot. "He spent the majority of his summer in bandages and had to have it scrubbed raw every night to avoid infection," she says. Caroline and her family now avoid all fireworks each year.
More summer fun
Field guide to summer safety
Fourth of July celebrations for families
Backyard BBQ: Our favorite finds