I have a huge family that loves to get together every Independence Day. With so much going on and kids running in and out all day, I'm always on the lookout for keeping the little ones safe during our 4th of July festivities. Whether you're having everyone over for a bonfire, firework show, barbecue or a pool party, you can never be too careful.
Here are a few tips on keeping toddlers safe on the 4th of July:
#1 Don't leave the grill unattended
So, you've finished with the grill, but don't leave it standing there for little curious hands to touch the still-steaming appliance. My 2-year-old always tries to go for the grill when no one is looking because he knows better when someone's standing right there manning it. Your best bet is to clean it up and put it away after you're done grilling.
#2 Make sure your bonfire is completely snuffed out
We like to have a bonfire when it starts to grow dark. When the fire starts to die down, we never leave it to extinguish on its own. Kids could easily get it going again when the adults are busy. You should make sure the fire is completely snuffed out before moving on to your other 4th of July activities.
#3 Never let a toddler play with fireworks
The closest my kids get to handling fireworks are those poppers that snap apart when you throw them on the ground. Toddlers should never handle anything that has a flame, including sparklers, because they don't have the discipline to handle them correctly. If you're having a firework show, make sure you clean up the used pieces to prevent kids from finding them later. Also, be sure to have a hose or large bucket of water nearby for accidents.
#4 Supervise the pool at all times
If you've decided to have a pool party to celebrate the 4th of July, make sure an adult is supervising the pool at all times, even when everyone has moved on to other activities. As long as you have kids in your house, someone should have that pool in view because it's all too easy to sneak away when the adults are busy.
Adult supervision is the key during the 4th of July. In our house, we call it "manning the stations." Since we have a lot of children in our extended family under the age of 5, we make sure that there's always an adult manning the grill, the bonfire, the fireworks, and the pool. With that system in place, we always have a fun and safe Independence Day.