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5 Safe Alternatives to Fireworks

5 Safe Alternatives to Fireworks

The year has sprinted into summer, which means we are in the middle of a season of celebration. Whether it’s a wedding, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day, or just warm outside and a nice long day, people love to celebrate with fireworks. We all celebrate in a number of different ways. 

Maybe you prefer to brave the heat and fire up the grill, jump into the pool or your favorite waterway, or explore the many miles of trails and lose yourself in the beauty of nature. 

But one thing that has become a steadfast part of many people's celebrations is lighting off a few fireworks. While they can be a fun and mesmerizing spectacle for children and adults alike, fireworks can pose a significant health and safety hazard, especially to our eyes and vision.


5 Safe Alternatives to Fireworks

Today we will look at some safe alternatives to fireworks and some tips on how to keep your eyes safe if you do choose to celebrate with a bang. For those with young children or who plan on some celebratory drinking, making a few switches from fireworks can help keep you and your family out of the ER over the holiday.

Here are our top alternatives to fireworks:

1. Bubbles

Why should you have to wait for the sun to set for the fun to start? The first two of our alternatives can get you in the festive spirit while the sun is still out. A tried and true fun time, especially if you have young kids, bubbles can be fun for the whole family. If you have a dog, it is an activity even they can appreciate as they chase them across the yard or right into the pool.

And the fun doesn’t have to stop with bubbles when it gets dark, either. Surprise your family and guests by adding some glow-in-the-dark solution to the bubble mix. There are a number of non-toxic varieties available, but in a pinch, you can carefully cut open and mix in the liquid from a glow stick.

2. Confetti

If you are still looking for a little bit of a bang, swap out fireworks for a colorful pop of confetti. Confetti cannons, well, go off like a cannon and can blast colorful concoctions up to 25 feet in the air. Just make sure to pick up a biodegradable option that doesn’t include plastic to keep your garden, pets, and kids in the clear after you are done celebrating. 

3. Glow Sticks

Put down the lighters and sparklers and pick up some glow sticks. You won’t have the risk of burns, injuries, or fires from the sparks and spent rods while you can run around to your heart's content. Glow sticks allow you to bring a little more light and celebration around pets, into pools, and through the woods. 

And with a lifespan of up to six hours in most cases, they last far longer than fleeting sparklers.

4. Laser Show and Light Display

For those who still want a bit of spectacle, you can create the illusion of fireworks and create a genuinely celebratory ambiance. Set up a laser light show with an LED projector and set it to your soundtrack of choice. You can sync up the lights and music for a whole concert-like experience for the more technically minded. 

If you don’t have a large wall or fence to really get the most out of a laser show but have space, you can do the same with colored string lights. We’ve all seen the videos of fantastic Christmas lights displays, but why should December get all the fun? Rig up your house, fence, and landscape for a genuinely immersive light show.

5. Paper Lanterns

This final alternative has a big caveat: sky lanterns, or those that you release and float upwards, are banned in North Carolina and across many states and countries. They pose a considerable fire risk. Especially in summer, and should never be released. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy traditional paper lanterns. 

String some up as decorations using electric tea lights as your light source, or weigh them down to float across the surface of small water features. 

Bonus: Movie Night

One final alternative to setting off your own fireworks is to set up a projector and have a movie night in the yard once the sun goes down. You can put on your favorite film or find a live stream of any number of larger fireworks displays across the country or world.

Firework Eye Protection

If you just can’t put down the fireworks, ensure your eye health by taking the following safety steps:

  • Keep a safe distance of about 500 feet for viewing. Most injuries occur to bystanders.
  • Do not pick up a dud; if you light the fuse and it doesn’t go off, leave it until it can be doused appropriately.
  • Keep fireworks out of the hands of children and away from pets.
  • When lighting fireworks, keep them away from your eyes and face and always wear protective eye gear.

What to Do if You Think You Have an Eye Injury

Being proactive about minimizing danger is the best step to keep yourself from eye damage, but if an accident does occur, keep the following steps in mind:

  • Do not rub or apply pressure to the eye
  • If there is an object in your eye, leave it in and take steps to keep from moving that eye.
  • Do not attempt to rinse the eye out or treat it with eye drops.
  • Seek medical attention immediately. You should not wait until the next day.

When it comes to your eye health and vision, you never want to delay seeking medical attention if you have been injured. If you have experienced any kind of eye injury, whether it is from fireworks, sports, or just daily life, after you have sought emergency medical care, you should always follow up with your optometrist.

Asheville Vision and Wellness has been serving western North Carolina since 1989 with dedicated staff and the best available technology. Contact us today to get started on your way to a better looking future.