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Fireworks And Young Children

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As the 4th July approaches and Bonfire Night in the UK have their roots firmly established in fireworks, it is a very different world for young children and research shows that they affect children depending upon their dominant sense.

It is easy enough to establish which category your child falls into if you know them.
There are four distinct groups:

• TACTILE
• TASTE AND SMELL
• AUDITORY
• VISUAL

If your child is tactile, their physicality dominates how they express themselves. They will want to HELP so stick to public displays as this will save a lot of ‘but why?’ moments. Get them to help with something ‘important’ like carrying the picnic hamper or cushions/blankets or even a torch. This saves all the frustration of the child who needs to feel useful and saves them running riot.

The taste and smell young ones can often be overwhelmed when they are going to a place where there are large crowds of people. The sense of the crowd and the building excitement is palpable to this type of little one. Allowing them to bring along their ‘cosy’ whether this is a doll, blanket or stuffed toy can help as can a torch or small flashlight which they can turn on when they become fearful of the dark. Always attempt to join a group of people who are close family and friends and keep them close by so that you can offer a big cuddle.

The auditory child can become very frightened of fireworks. It is not the sight but the sound which is often very loud and high pitched with the screeches and whistles. You should take steps to ensure that the child has some earplugs or fun headphones. It might be an idea to play videos from one of the hundreds of fireworks companies. Epic fireworks always have a noise rating so perhaps selecting some of the noisier ones and explaining how the sound is made by escaping air and ultimately ‘de-sensitize’ them to the noises. Highlighting that the beautiful effects in the sky will be truly magical (comparing to the nightly display held at Disney World helps too!!) Letting your little one listen to some of their favourite music can make the fireworks display even more impressive to the auditory child as there is a theme.

It will come as no surprise that the visual child will love all the colours 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.

The visual child will, without doubt, gain the most enjoyment from the fireworks but undoubtedly taking some small steps will help all other little ones too.

Keep safe and enjoy the 4th July celebrations.

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