The 4th of July is a day filled with cheer and patriotism. While many find the firework displays to be great fun, some kids have a hard time with the loud noises, bright colors, and busy crowds. Here are 7 tips you can implement to help your child enjoy the fireworks this year during the Independence Day celebrations.
Prepare your Child: Tell your child ahead of time what is going to happen from beginning to end. Tell them again while getting in the car, during the car ride, and before arriving. The more your child knows what to expect, the better they will respond to the situation. Watching Youtube videos of firework shows can also help kids prepare, and even get them excited to experience this in real life!
Bring some noise-canceling headphones and sunglasses: The headphones can be helpful to quiet any loud or unwanted sound from explosions or crowds. Bright lights from the fireworks can cause sensory discomfort, so sunglasses are useful to dull the bright glow.
Watch from a distance: By watching from a distance, you may be able to minimize the sensory input from the fireworks. For example, you can watch fireworks from the car or house to avoid the full experience.
Deep breaths: A good strategy to implement when stressed is deep breathing. Encourage deep breathing before and during the event.
Bring distractions: Bring preferred items like a favorite snack or toys. Sometimes we just need a break.
Focus on FUN: Don’t forget to have fun. Always remind the kid that this is a fun event and that it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Have a smile on your face and remain calm, even if you are feeling stressed from the hustle and bustle. The loud noises don’t have to be scary.
Plan B: Sometimes even when we try our best, things don’t go as planned. Create a Plan B to have a second vehicle so you and the child can leave if needed. Travel with an extra adult that’s able to help out with multiple children. Safety is always first; sometimes the events can still be too overwhelming, even with these tips implemented. You can always try again next year!
We hope these tips can help make the summer holidays more sensory-friendly for your children. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at TEAM 4 Kids! Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Ivan Ramirez-Diaz, RBT
In the video below, RBT Keith shares strategies to make summer gatherings can be fun for the whole family!