Helpful Tips for Parents and Professionals

Fireworks: 6 Tips to Help Kids who are Scared

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Are your kids scared of fireworks?

While the beautiful explosion of colors in the sky are wonders for all to see, kids are often very scared of fireworks because of the loud boom that accompanies them. Have no fear- Here are 6 tips to help with fireworks fright.

6 Tips to Help Kids who are Scared of Fireworks

  1. Be a sound detective:

    Many kids, whether they have sensory processing struggles or not, will often be scared when they hear an unexpected sound. It could be a creak in the floor. Or, it could be a cabinet closing, causing them to wonder, “What was that?!” When they discover what is causing the sound, kids will find that there is nothing to fear. Take a walk in your neighborhood or around your home and listen for sounds to determine where they start. Once they find the sounds’ origins, they will understand the unexpected noises better.

  2. Ask questions/fact check:

    Fears and anxiety often come from the unknown. At North Shore Family Services, we often refer to this as the “what ifs” that may or may not be likely to happen. Ask your child if the “what ifs” are likely to happen. What if it’s a dinosaur coming to eat us? What if it’s a HUGE bowling ball coming right for us? Come up with silly answers to help ease their worries.

  3. Count:

    Did you know that after the sparkle of the fireworks hit the sky, we often will hear the BOOM about 1 second later? Here’s a trick: count one second with your child using “one one thousand” to see if that’s right. The boom will be more predictable and often calm your child’s nerves. If your kids hear a boom and don’t see the fireworks, you can help them by letting them know that the firework probably went off about a second before then and maybe it didn’t go off high enough in the sky to see it. You can refer to it as a “dud” firework. “Bummer, Emma, we missed that one.”

  4. Anticipate the big noise and match it:

    Challenge your kids to be louder than the fireworks. Teach them to roar like a lion or drum like a drummer when they anticipate the loud firework. By teaching them this trick, you empower them to take control of their fears!

  5. Weighted blankets/big hugs:

    Kids like to feel secure when they are scared, so wrap them in a big hug or blanket while watching the fireworks together. If you can make your kids feel more secure, who wouldn’t try that?

  6. Noise canceling headphones:

    Sometimes, the beauty of the fireworks for some young ones does not outweigh the scary sounds for them. Noise canceling headphones can help tremendously. We recommend one from The Sensory Kids Store, locally in Wilmette.

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