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Are My Kids Old Enough for a Fireworks Display?

10 April 2023

Fireworks displays are a popular event, and as a parent of young children, you may be wondering whether they’re ready to attend one. The short answer is that it depends on how your child handles the kind of sensory experiences found at these events: sudden loud noises, flashing lights, cold and crowds. Of course, every child is different, but here are some suggestions to help you decide:

Loud noises

The biggest aspect of firework displays that young children may struggle with is the noise. Fireworks make sudden loud noises, and even adults can find them overwhelming. For children, the noise can be even more intense and frightening. If your child gets agitated or scared when exposed to loud noises, it's probably best to avoid taking them to a fireworks display. However, if they seem curious and excited by the prospect of seeing fireworks, they may enjoy the experience. You may be able to reduce the impact of the noise by giving your child ear defenders to wear.

Fireworks are unpredictable

Fireworks are unpredictable, especially if it’s your first time seeing them. While they’re beautiful to watch, they can also be very loud and jarring, especially for younger children. The sudden flashes of light can be disorienting and even frightening. 

It can be cold at night

November in the UK can be very cold, especially after dark, when fireworks displays are held. If your little one is particularly sensitive to the cold, they might get upset. Make sure to dress them up warmly if you do take them and if possible, find an event with an early display for children, in case your youngster needs to leave before the main display. 

Crowds and chaotic environment

While fireworks displays can be a fun and exciting way to celebrate special occasions, they can be overwhelming for young children. Crowds and chaotic environments can be sensory overload for kids still developing their ability to filter out stimulation. If you think this might be too much for your little one, it might not be the right kind of event for them. However, if they enjoy being around other people and hearing loud noises, a fireworks display might be a fun experience for them. 

Children need to be supervised at all times

It's important to remember that you must supervise children at all times when attending a fireworks display. There’s safety hazards, like the bonfire, the crowd, and the unpredictable nature of the fireworks themselves, plus the darkness and noise will make it hard to find your kids if they wander off. Stay close and make sure you have taken precautions in case your child does get separated from you, like putting a wristband with your contact details on them.

If you think your child can handle the cold, crowds and noise, they are likely ready to attend a fireworks display. However, if you have any concerns, it is always best to wait until they’re a little older. 

Photo by Chris F

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