The 4th of July is upon us. That means it’s time for barbeques, spending time with family and friends, colorful firework displays, your child screaming…wait, what? Fireworks can be so much fun to watch, but for children that don’t like loud noises they can be extremely frightening. Until you’ve been through a fireworks display with you’re child it’s hard to tell whether your little one will oh and ah at the pretty colors or try to run away screaming. Here are some helpful tips for watching fireworks with your little one.
A reason why some children are scared by loud noises is because they don’t understand where the noise is coming from. I’m sure most of us would not be able to explain the complex process of how fireworks actually work, but we understand enough. You can help prepare your child by helping him understand the basics of what is going on. You can do this by showing them videos of fireworks (YouTube is great for this). Knowing what’s going to happen ahead of time may help your child stay calm during the display. Then while you’re watching the fireworks remind them of what you’ve talked about.
Cover Those Ears
For some little ones quieting the booming sounds is enough to keep them calm and happy. There are different ways you can do this. Some people bring along ear plugs. Personally I don’t like the idea of putting them in my child’s ears. They’re also not terribly comfortable, so I imagine many kids wouldn’t put up with them. Still some people like them. You could also take an mp3 player along if your child is old enough to listen to one. Of course there is the good old traditional way of having your child cover their ears with their hands (or you cover them with your hands). To make it easier you can also have your child put on some earmuffs. A new product I recently heard about is to use Peltor Kid Earmuffs. These earmuffs look like the ones you see people wearing if they work with loud machinery, but they are made especially for little heads. The kid ones are approved for infants through 7 year old children. There is also a junior model for older kids, or ones that have a bigger head. I haven’t used them myself, but I’ve seen a lot of people on The Dis talk about how great they were for keeping their little ones calm while watching fireworks in Walt Disney World.
Have An Escape Plan
All of the planning in the world may not be enough to help your child deal with fireworks. If it is just to much for them have a plan of where to go where you can watch in a location that feels safe to them (maybe you can watch them from your car). Be prepared though to leave if necessary. For some kids fireworks are just too much. If they’re upset over them forcing your child to stay and watch isn’t going to make anyone happy. If that’s the case it is just better to leave (as long as you can safely do so) and to plan on trying fireworks another time.
Fireworks are loud, and can be very scary, so it’s a good idea to find ways to help your child enjoy them. If you’re really lucky your little one will fall asleep and you’ll be able to enjoy the fireworks without a care in the world. Whatever happens Rock-A-Bye Parents would like to wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July.