The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and with it can come some dangers for kids. Since you and your spouse share the weekend of the Fourth, it’s likely that your children will come into contact with a few fireworks shows and small explosive items, like firecrackers.
To help make the Fourth of July safer, one thing that you and the other parent may want to do now is to address any concerns you have as well as rules that you’d like to put into place in both homes.
Here are a few examples. You may want to:
- Limit small children’s access to handheld sparklers or firecrackers. These can be fun, but only when an adult is present to prevent an accident.
- Require that your children only go to professional fireworks shows instead of “backyard” amateur shows. This helps prevent the risk that a firework will explode too closely to your children.
- Encourage parental guidance. Even if your children are older, you may ask that they stay with the other parent and don’t go to events on their own.
- Limit your children to events without alcohol. As kids get older, they may want to try alcohol. If your children can drive, that’s a bad idea. Limit them to activities where alcohol is not present or where they’re unable to access it freely.
- Encourage safe boating practices. You or your ex-spouse might be planning to go on the water. Talk to each other about sunscreen use, the use of floatation devices and any activities that you’re not comfortable with your children participating in.
These are just a few ideas of the topics that you may want to discuss.
Once you start talking about what you want or don’t want to see over the holiday weekend, take out some paper and write it down. Both of you should be willing to agree to the rules and may want to take a copy with you wherever you go. This is an excellent exercise in trust, and it gives you both the opportunity to have a say in your children’s safety during a potentially dangerous holiday weekend.
If you cannot agree on everything, that’s fine. Do your best, and if you need to speak with your attorney about additional rules or guidelines, they may be able to help you negotiate a parenting plan that includes safety precautions for your children regardless of the event they’re attending.