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Columbus, Ohio
USA

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Why injury? It's this simple: more children die from injuries every year than from the next three leading causes of death combined. Nobody knows this because no one is talking about it. In the U.S., one child dies every hour from an injury that could have been prevented. Around the world, a child dies every 30 seconds as the result of an injury. You don’t need to have a child to know that we can do better.

 

Glow Sticks Won't Burn My Kids, But Sparklers Will

End Injury

"Eye Spy WIth My Little Eye" by Photosavvy via  Flickr   (CC BY-ND 2.0)

"Eye Spy WIth My Little Eye" by Photosavvy via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

I know I’m going to get pushback on this, but I’m the mom who doesn’t let her kids play with sparklers.

I used to buy them for every Fourth of July. Then a friend sent me a video showing a sparkler burning at 1200⁰F—that’s more than 5 times hotter than boiling water. Since I definitely don’t let my kids touch boiling water, why was I handing them something that was hot enough to melt metal, not to mention their skin?

I know a lot of people consider sparklers “safe.” Why is that? Is it just tradition? Or a misunderstanding of how unsafe sparklers actually are? When I raise the issue with friends who are parents, I usually get responses like, “We played with them all the time and no one got hurt” and “It’s just harmless fun—they’ll be fine.” I guess I don’t just don’t buy those reasons. I can think of a lot of things I did has a kid that could have caused a really serious injury, but I would never let my kids do those things today.

So I accept it: I’m the “paranoid” mom, at least in other parents’ eyes. But here’s the catch: My kids don’t seem to care that they don’t have sparklers because they still get a fun treat: glow sticks, bracelets, and necklaces. And wouldn’t you know it, after those sparklers are finished, my kids are still having fun with their glow necklaces, and pretty soon, the other kids are bugging their parents about getting glow necklaces next year. To me, this is a win-win: without the risk of major burns, I can relax more on my July 4th holiday, and I have happier kids who don’t miss the sparklers one bit.

This post was courtesy of reader Lesley.

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