Fireworks are a beautiful, mesmerizing, and exciting spectacle that many people look forward to, especially on the Fourth of July. However, for children and those with autism, the loud noises and bright lights of fireworks can be overwhelming and distressing. With proper preparation and a few simple strategies, you can help your child enjoy fireworks and make the experience a memorable and joyful one.
Here are some tips and strategies to help your child deal with fireworks:
Prepare in Advance
Talk to your kid in advance of the fireworks display about what to expect and why there will be loud noises and bright lights. Tell them it's a celebration and a passing thing. To give them an idea of what fireworks will look like and sound like, show them pictures or videos of them. Their anxiety and fear of the unknown may be lessened as a result of this preparation.
Attend Rehearsals or Smaller Displays
Consider going to rehearsals or smaller-scale fireworks displays if you can before the main event. Your child can get accustomed to the sights and sounds of fireworks in a more controlled setting at these displays, which frequently feature fewer spectators and a milder sensory experience.
Create a Safe and Comfortable Environment
Make sure your child has a secure and cozy space. Your child should be able to see the fireworks without being too close to them, so look for a location away from the crowd and the noise. Bring refreshments, a cozy chair, and blankets to help them relax. To lower the noise level, you can also use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones.
Use Ear Protection
To help reduce the noise level and protect your child's sensitive ears, think about getting ear protection. The volume of the fireworks can be effectively decreased by using earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. Make careful you select ear protection made especially for kids to ensure a good fit and sufficient noise reduction.
Use Calming Techniques Your Child Responds To
Before the fireworks show, practice deep breathing or other relaxing techniques with your kid. Practice the ones you are aware that your child enjoys. This may calm them down and enable them to tolerate the loud noises easier. To help your child focus and decompress, you can also try sensory-based activities like chewable necklaces, fidget spinners, or plush toys.
Plan for a Quick Exit
Plan for the quickest and quietest exit in case your child is too overwhelmed or upset during the fireworks show. Have an evacuation route in mind, and make sure that your child understands where it is. To be able to depart quickly if necessary, try to keep a car close by and have your keys accessible.
Teach Fireworks Safety
Teach your child to behave responsibly by teaching them about the safety of fireworks. Insist that only professionals should handle fireworks because they are not toys. Inform children of the risks associated with fireworks, such as burns and injuries. Emphasize the need to never pick up or handle any fireworks that you may find either before or after the event.
Celebrate the Event
Make the fireworks display a celebratory event by focusing on the positive aspects. Talk to your child about the beautiful colors and shapes they will see, and encourage them to express their excitement and enjoyment. As a family, celebrate the occasion to foster a sense of camaraderie and positive associations with fireworks.