Editor’s Note: This guest post is written by Dr. Robert Sicoli, co-medical director of the emergency department at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Dr. Sicoli is a fellowship trained Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician with over 20 years of experience.
While lighting off a few bottle rockets or running around the backyard with a lit sparkler may seem like a relatively harmless way for kids to celebrate the Fourth of July, thousands of people each year are injured by fireworks and many of them end up in the emergency room.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were over 8,600 injuries involving fireworks in 2010. Unfortunately, 40% of those injuries were children younger than 15 years of age. While the safest bet is taking your family to a public fireworks show, many states allow the private use of various types of fireworks. If you live in a state that allows fireworks for private use, follow these fireworks safety tips to keep you and your family safe.
- Make sure to buy ready-to-use fireworks. Avoid kits that require assembly at home and avoid making your own.
- Don’t buy fireworks with brown labels or that are wrapped in brown paper. These are usually made for public displays and not intended to be used privately.
- Always follow the label directions carefully.
- Always light fireworks outside and away from combustible items, like dry leaves and grass.
- Choose a proper, safe, and wide open area for light and setting off the fireworks. Don’t launch bottles rockets in a wooded area or near a busy street.
- Light fireworks one at a time. Never lash multiple fireworks together, never point them toward another person, and make sure to wear eye protection.
- Don’t let kids under 10 use any type of fireworks, even sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
- Always keep a hose or bucket of water nearby.
- Never try to re-light a “dud.” Wait at least ten minutes and then douse it with water.
- Soak all fireworks in water before throwing them away.
- Store extra or unused fireworks in a cool, dry place.
While following these tips will help keep your family safe, accidents could still happen. Burn injuries are common on hands, fingers, eyes, head, and face. In the case your kids are injured, follow these tips for treatment:
- For relatively mild burns, such as red or irritated skin, rinse with cool water and apply an antibiotic ointment to the affected area.
- For severe burns, such as blistering, peeling, and/or very painful skin, call your doctor or seek medical attention immediately.
- If smoke or other particles get into the eyes, avoid rubbing them or the irritation will get worse. Try cleaning the eyes by rinsing them with cool water, but if your child is still in pain after flushing the eyes or complains about visual problems, seek medical attention immediately.
- If your child has inhaled smoke, let him rest in a cool, ventilated area. If he continues to cough, if the coughing is severe, or if there is difficult or labored breathing, call 911 or visit the emergency room right away.
For the person on your list who already has everything, why not give them a gift that gives back by donating to a charity on their behalf. Here are a few we love.
88Bikes donates bicycles to children around the world who face hardships such as poverty and war. For $88, you can donate a bike in a friend’s name and make a child immeasurably happy. Read our story on the organization to find out just how huge of an impact a bike can have on a child’s life.
DonorsChoose.org lets you give to classrooms in need, to help make sure that kids have the essentials they need to learn and teachers have the tools required for teaching.
Share Our Strength aims to end childhood hunger in American by 2015. Your contribution will help ensure that families have access to food that’s healthy and affordable. And if you give by December 31, your tax-deductible gift will be matched, dollar for dollar.
What’s your favorite organization or charity to give to?
Boy, have we got a just-in-time-for-Christmas giveaway for you! The great people over at Manhattan Toy, who partner with us on our very own Parents line of toys, have put together a prize package any kid would be thrilled to find under the tree. And the kiddos aren’t the only ones who will appreciate the 5 stellar toys that are up for grabs.
The philosophy behind the Parents collection of toys is that “when the toy does less, the child does more,” a concept any parent can feel good about. The toys in this line are specifically designed to inspire a child’s imagination—something you don’t quite see enough of these days. Through entertaining play, the toys, games, and puzzles in the line helps expand skills, boost brain power, and allow your child’s natural creativity to flourish. What’s not to love about that?! Even better, as soon as a winner is chosen and is contacted, this prize will ship overnight promising an extra-special Christmas morning!
This contest has now ended. Congratulations to our winner, Heather D. of Beavercreek, OR!
As promised, we’re unveiling five of the Fab 15 toys selected by Kmart Toys and Rico Rodriguez of “Modern Family”! We’ve collaborated with Kmart Toys to present one grand prize winner with a bundle that includes the five toys below:
(1) Simon Flash ($29.99) (1) I Am T Pain Mic ($39.99) (1) Lalaloopsy Treehouse ($39.99) (1) Redekai Championship Battle Tin ($29.99) (1) WWE Crashdown Arena ($42.99)
These five toys (total retail value of $182.95) will certainly bring a smile to any child’s face for the holiday season.
To enter, share your favorite holiday memory in our Comments section below between Mon. December 5 to Fri. December 9. One grand prize winner will be selected randomly to win the bundle of five toys. Come back to this post again after Mon. December 12 to find out the winner. Read the full contest rules here.
It’s my turn to host the entire family for Christmas this year. Don’t tell anyone, but I have secret fantasies of packing up and flying off to an exotic place where all the cooking, hosting and entertaining is done by someone else! A great place that is offering just that this holiday season is a resort my husband and I visited last year: The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa in New Mexico near Albuquerque, New Mexico. And even better, the kind folks at Tamaya have offered YOU, Parents readers and blog visitors a special family plan rate which includes a second room half off! Because is it really a vacation to stuff everyone in one room?! It’s not for me anyway! The promotion will be valid December through the end of February and the offer code will be PARENT. Click here to book.
Here are just some of the fun stuff that will be offered this holiday at the Pueblo Style Resort.
Tree Lighting Ceremony. On, November 26 children from the Pueblo of Santa Ana will sing around the holiday tree in the resort’s living room, festive decorations and a traditional display of luminarias as well as holiday-themed pastries and beverages.
Pueblo-style Gingerbread Making Classes: Every Sunday, guests will take part in an instructional course with a member of the Tamaya’s pastry team to learn how to construct their very own Pueblo-style gingerbread home.
Santa-drawn Carriage Rides: Each weekend, Santa and his reindeer will take guest on a carriage ride through the indigenous Bosque forest and along the Rio Grande River. Guests will receive complimentary hot chocolate and holiday cookies.
Santa Paws: Travelers are encouraged to bring their four-legged friends to celebrate the holiday season. The pet-friendly resort will host the “Santa Paws” event on December 3 which will provide guests with a complimentary photo of their pet with Santa Claus upon a donation of one pet food item to a local animal nonprofit organization.Artisan Market: On December 10, the resort will showcase the culture of the Pueblo of Santa Ana with arts, crafts, and jewelry available from several Native American tribes throughout New Mexico. In addition, the event will feature performances from Native American dancers and musicians.
Christmas Eve Book Reading: Resort guests will gather around the large holiday tree in the resort’s Living Room for a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Santa Claus will make an appearance after the book reading as he makes his way through New Mexico. The resort will serve a traditional New Mexico-style Christmas Eve dinner including pasole, tamales, and biscochitos in its Santa Ana Café and Corn Maiden restaurant.
Are you a fan of “Modern Family”? Rico Rodigruez, who plays Manny on the show, has partnered with Kmart Toys (as their Fun Ambassador) to introduce the Fab 15 — 15 of this holiday season’s best toys. We’ve collaborated with Kmart Toys to give away five of these toys, to one grand prize winner, next week.
Watch the video below of Rico introducing the Fab 15 – and make sure to come back to Goodyblog on Monday, December 5 as we unveil the five toys!
10–15 dried leaves
4 × 24″ piece of craft wood, 1⁄8″ width
Orange craft paint
White craft glue
1. Paint your piece of wood with orange craft paint. Let this dry.
2. Using the photo as a guide, use your pencil to write “THANKFUL” in all capital letters on your painted board. Make sure the letters are evenly spaced across the board.
3. Trace the pencil letters with your white craft glue. Make sure each part of the letters is covered in a line of glue.
4. In a large bowl, crunch up your dried leaves. Try to get them as small as possible.
5. Sprinkle your crushed leaves onto your glue, shaking it around slightly to get each part of the glue covered in leaves. Shake off any excess leaves back into the bowl. Let your board dry overnight.
Reprinted from “Make and Takes for Kids: 50 Crafts Throughout the Year,” with permission from Wiley Publishing. Copyright 2011.