Start With A Bang: 10 tips for enjoying firework displays with kids
With Halloween been and gone, it can mean only one thing - Bonfire Night and its associated firework displays are on their way. The 5th November falls on a Sunday this year, which is a popular day to hold displays, so chances are you'll be heading to one near you.
Now my kids are older, they positively love fireworks and the noisier the bang, the better. However, when they were toddlers it was an entirely different story.
The key to an enjoyable firework display is preparation, so here are our top ten tried and tested tips for enjoying the fireworks with kids:
Tips for enjoying fireworks with kids:
- Be Prepared. If it is their first firework display, show them what to expect. Find a video on YouTube and if they are old enough, explain how fireworks are made and why they go bang
- Invest in some Ear Defenders which protect their ears from the noise of the fireworks. They don’t cut out the sound altogether, but reduce it significantly, which helps the kids overcome their fear
- Wrap up warm. It’s November and even though it has been fairly mild of late, the nights are chilly and dark. There is nothing worse than feeling cold and it can be a long wait for the fireworks to start, so layer up, pop their gloves, hat and coat on and don’t forget the thick socks under their wellies
- Take a torch. Many displays are held in a muddy field which can be tricky to navigate in the dark. Take a torch, or better still, wear a head torch which keeps your hands free to hang on to the kids
- Go to an organised display. Not only is it professionally organised and therefore less of a risk of being injured in an accident, but the fireworks are much bigger and better than the ones you set off in the garden
- If the kids are nervous, keep your distance. The crowds often gather as close to the fireworks as possible so it will be much quieter farther back. If you are lucky enough to live close to an organised display, watch it from your garden - it’s cheaper too!
- Sparklers aren’t harmless - believe it or not they get 15 times hotter than boiling water. Don’t wear loose clothing, find an open space to light them, make sure the kids hold them at arm's length and keep them supervised at all times. It is also important to dispose of them carefully and many displays will have special bins or a bucket of water to pop them in. Remember: Sparklers are not toys and should never be given to a child under five
- If you are having a display in the garden, stick to the Firework code, don’t let the kids anywhere near the fireworks and save that alcohol laden hot toddy until after the display has finished
- Know your first aid: It pays to know what to do in case somebody is injured on Bonfire Night - if anyone suffers a burn from a sparkler or firework, try to stay calm and run cold water over the affected area for at least 10 minutes
- If you are building a bonfire you must first decide on a good spot for it. Make sure that you are a safe distance from trees, hedges and buildings. If there is wind, make sure that you are even further away and always check for small animals hidden inside before you light it
Bonfire Night Fun Facts:
- Did you know that up until 1959 it was illegal to not celebrate Bonfire Night?
- Guy Fawkes also went by the name Guido Fawkes – he chose this name for himself while he was fighting in the war in Spain
- Fireworks can be dated back as far as the 7th century, in China
- The first fireworks display in the UK was at the wedding of King Henry VII, in 1486
- Guy Fawkes was found guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder!