Wondering whether to take your little one along to a fireworks show this Fourth of July? Our readers have some great advice for keeping your children safe and happy during a noisy, firecracker-filled celebration.
Is It Too Loud?
Moms are often nervous about whether it's safe to bring young children to a fireworks show, and rightly so. Extremely loud noises, such as those from fireworks and other explosions, can be damaging to ears of adults and children alike. The decibel level of fireworks puts them above the safe range of noise exposure for any person.
A common-sense approach will help you protect your child's hearing (and your own). Skip the front-row seats and watch fireworks from a distance, where you can't feel the vibrations. And as reader Teresa S. suggests, you can also protect little ears by covering them: "Take something to protect your child's hearing, like . . . some ear muffs." Holly agrees: "We took my now 21-month-old to an air show when she was 5 months old and we got her some ear muffs for the section of the show with the jets. She had a great time and still loves her muffs to this day!" No baby earmuffs? Just use your own hands.
Is It Too Scary?
Aside from the safety factor, you may be wondering whether your child will even enjoy the fireworks. Several readers point out that this really varies with each child. Ask yourself, "How does [mine] respond to other noises, crowds, etc.?" as Kelly D. suggests.
Some babies, like Tonda F.'s son, are fascinated by the colorful display: "My son saw them at 3 months and loved them and didn't get scared." Malinda T.'s son had a great time, too: "He loved the fireworks. He was laughing and kept putting his hands up, trying to catch them in the sky!!"
Other babies, however, are frightened by the stimulation of loud noises and bright lights. Gwen C. relays: "Some babies get very frightened by the loud noise/bright lights and start crying." It's good to have a plan B, as Sabrina W. suggests, whether it's going inside or watching the show fairly close to your car so you can leave quickly if need be: "Just [have] a quick escape plan in case they scare her."