Kids may be tempted to wave them on the Fourth of July, but a household staple can keep their hands protected.

By Alexandra Churchill
June 23, 2020
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Credit: Brown Bird Design

Sparklers should ignite smiles—and that's all. And yet, school-aged children suffer an estimated 1,900 fireworks-related burns and eye injuries every year in the weeks surrounding the Fourth of July—and sparklers, statistics show, are the most frequent cause of these injuries.

They're not all lights and fanfare: Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt and quickly ignite clothing. That's why it's important to keep a close eye on your little ones when they're wielding their own sparklers. Keep in mind these guidelines outlined by the American Pyrotechnics Association: Make sure kids always hold a sparkler (one at a time, only) at arm's length, stay at least six feet from one another, and don't run with, throw, or hand a lit sparkler to their friend; it's also a good idea to wear closed-toe shoes and avoid loose-fitting clothes.

Even better, try our editors-approved trick: To help protect hands, turn mini aluminum tart tins ($11.48 for 50, amazon.com) into ember-blocking shields. Poke a hole in the center of one with a knife or skewer, push a sparkler's stem ($6.47 for 10, etsy.com) through, and let patriots of all sizes revel in a little independence. This works wonders for sparklers that are waved along parade routes and at festivals, or even your own backyard.

Remember that after a sparkler fizzles out, the sticks stay hot. Douse used sparklers in a bucket of water to help ensure no one's feet will get accidentally burned by used sparklers. Let them soak for a few hours before discarding.

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