Nothing feels more American than watching fireworks on Independence Day. But is it okay to take your kids to a 4th of July fireworks show?
Depending on the age of your child, you want to make sure you have prepared them in advance for watching fireworks. When it comes to fireworks and toddlers, the biggest concern is how the loud boom of explosives could potentially harm your child’s ears and hearing.
According to the website The Bump, if you can feel the vibration from the fireworks, you are in the danger zone. Firework noise can register over 150 decibels, more than a jackhammer (130 decibels), jet plane takeoff (120 decibels), and a chainsaw (100 decibels), according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
So if your body is booming along with the explosions, it’s time to find you and your family another seat, with more distance from the action.
According to Mother & Baby magazine, there are several ways to protect your child’s ears from fireworks.
- Use a pair of ear muffs. You certainly have seen the kids of athletes wearing these during the Olympic trials.
- You can also buy baby ear plugs to insert into your baby’s ears.
- Try watching the display from inside your car to muffle the sound even more.
Kids of any age can suffer sudden and permanent hearing loss from fireworks, according to Purdue University.
If you ever have any concerns about your hearing, including pain or ringing in the ear, seek an evaluation from a certified audiologist. A list of local professionals is available at www.asha.org/profind.
Whatever you decide, take it slow and ease into the action. If things go well you can make it a tradition. But be sure to have an escape plan ready if things go south. You can always enjoy the show on TV from the comfort of your couch.