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Fireworks are one of the community events that go hand in hand with Fourth of July. Knowing how your child is likely to react based on their dominant sense, can help make the event smooth and memorable.
Tactile children will want to help with the fireworks, so often when kids are young it's best to have a "public fireworks only" rule. This saves the frustration of having to say "no" or worry that your tactile child will try to "copy" what you are doing by lighting their own crackers or sparklers. (This isn't a problem in the Indianapolis area this year because many communities have banned lighting of personal fireworks due to drought-like conditions).
Auditory children can often become scared by fireworks. It isn't the sight of them, rather the noise can often be loud and high pitched. Take along some ear plugs or some head phones to help protect your child's ears. It can be a good idea to play your child a DVD or a YouTube video of some fireworks displays so they can get an idea of what to expect. Point out that although the sound may be harsh, the sight of all those beautiful colors lighting up the sky will make it worth it. Letting your auditory child listen to some of their favorite music can make the fireworks display even more vibrant. Classical music from composers such as Beethoven and Paganini are really fun to listen to when watching the light display.
Taste-and-smell children can feel overwhelmed by the crowd, the sound, the open space at night and even the overall excitement. Allowing them to bring along their favorite security item like a doll, bear or blanket can help enormously. Often being outside with a bunch of strangers in the dark can cause anxiety. Relieve the fear of the dark by giving them a special flashlight they can turn on if need be. Talk to them about other people they may know also going to the display and if possible set up your picnic blanket near friends and family. Keep them close at hand and be ready to give a good cuddle if needed.
Visual children will love all the colors in the sky. Although the noise and crowds and darkness will bother them initially, it will be all forgotten when the display actually starts. They will take great pleasure in looking at photographs of the display and all the people who were there to see it. Expect a couple of weeks of drawing brilliant displays of fireworks, and chatter about how pretty they were and when you could go again. If they find the display too overwhelming, having a book or small game as a distraction can help focus their visual intent elsewhere, until they feel ready to look up at the sky again.
Fireworks displays are very exciting, beautiful and something we remember way into our adulthood. Some children can feel that they are too scary, and in these cases we should be prepared to stay home and do some other Fourth of July family activity. Remember they may be fearful this year but they will get older and in time feel more confident to view the fireworks in a more public setting.
Happy Fourth of July!