Should children be allowed to play with fireworks?

West Virginia

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – As we near the 4th of July weekend, many people are anticipating the night’s main event… FIREWORKS.

Although many experts advise only using fireworks with professionals nearby, a study was just released saying 86% of parents ignore that advice.  

The study also says 82% of parents think it’s okay for children to play with fireworks and sparklers.  

But local officials in the Mountain State advise otherwise.    

“It’s one of those things where it’s so common that we underestimate the hazards until it happens to you or someone you know. And then that brings it to life on how dangerous they can be,” says Mat Winters, the Fire Marshal for the Huntington Fire Department.

Winters says firework injuries happen every year typically because residents use them improperly or near buildings.   

After speaking with a few residents in downtown Huntington about their thoughts on the study, one said it’s probably not the best idea to let children set off fireworks.

“I grew up where there was a bad explosion years ago at the fireworks place and a lot of people were killed. And I think fireworks are dangerous, I think they need to be supervised,” says Julie Freeman. 

Other residents agreed one decision can’t be made for everyone.  

“I’m kind of glad my mom didn’t let me shoot fireworks by myself, but if there’s a kid who’s a lot safer than I was, to each their own,” says Lauren Childers.

“I was always pretty safe with them. I kind of had the common sense to not hurt myself,” says Tobias Moore.

Winters says anyone looking for fun alternatives for children this weekend could take them to “the downtown shows, [try] glow sticks, but things like that. Just turn it into a fun evening without the fireworks if you can.”  

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