Whether you are celebrating the beginning of a new life at a wedding or the anniversary of the nation at the Fourth of July, sparklers are often part of that celebration. These simple fireworks are such a part of many different kinds of celebrations that we can forget that they can be dangerous if not handled safely.

It seems odd in fact that many families will hand off sparklers to their kids without giving it a thought but they would never hand a firecracker to that same child. But those little fizzy lights at the end can burn and cause serious damage. So, if you plan to party with sparklers, especially when there are kids around, be sure to heed these safety tips.

Stand for that Important Date

While most kids will not only stand, but will probably dance as well while holding a sparkler (come on, you haven’t tried to write your name with one?), standing remains safer then sitting. All you have to do is imagine a sitting child holding a sparkler in front of them and being bumped into by a passing person to see the danger in having a seated child hold a sparkler. By all means, encourage them to dance and make pictures in the sky with them. Just no running, of course. Fat chance they will listen to you with that one, too.

Lighting Etiquette

If you are planning to give out sparklers to little ones, know that there is a right way to do this and a wrong way. To begin with, flip flops and sparklers really are not a good pairing so make sure the kids are squared away with the footwear first. Secondly, when handing out the good sparklers, like the cool ones you see at SparklersOnline.com for instance, always be sure you hand the kid the sparkler and then light it.

Handing out lit sparklers amongst a bunch of excited kids is just asking for trouble. Also- holding a bunch of them and then lighting them up together may look cool but is way too dangerous to even consider trying. Especially around kids and intoxicated adults.

Sparklers and the Art of Sky Writing

As we mentioned before, it is hard to stop anyone from trying to write in the sky with a sparkler. That doesn’t mean someone isn’t going to try to stop them, but my advice would be to simply try to space everyone apart so they don’t end up with a sparkler in someone’s eye.

It is recommended that each individual with a sparkler be six feet away from the next one, but in a party situation that may be tough to control. Encourage each kid to create their own “zone” and try to prevent anyone thinking throwing them up in the air is cool. Looks great but only if you are out on a field of pavement by yourself. Or maybe at a party in Alaska in the winter.

After the Party is Over

Finally – try to have a handful of buckets with water or sand in them around for post-party disposal. The wands may look done when that sizzle goes out, but they are still plenty hot. Encourage everyone to dip their finished sticks in a bucket instead of just dropping them on the ground. A burial ceremony can always be enacted to encourage the dramatic in the crowd.