This coming weekend is one of my favorite events of the year. The crash and boom of fireworks have thrilled me since I was a tiny tot.

Back then, there wasn’t a lot of excess concern about safety during the Fourth of July weekend. Everyone was more concerned about getting the barbeque organized, ensuring the family picnic/reunion went off well, and wondering what that crazy Uncle Bill might get up to next.

Children running around pools usually got a barked “stop running” out of someone, but mostly everyone was focused on having a good time from the afternoon races through the sparklers at dusk all the way to the earth-shattering grand finale.

There are some things you might want to consider, though, before you head out for the weekend.

First, don’t forget to check out the summer sun safety tips we posted a few weeks ago.

It’s natural and almost automatic for every adult to have an extra sharp eye on any water features and children playing nearby. Just because everyone’s watching, though, don’t assume everyone is seeing. Drownings can happen in an instant and can occur in absolute silence. If you know you’re going to be too busy, it can be helpful to organize a schedule in which responsible adults are specifically assigned to watch the pool for half an hour or so at a time. Kind of an impromptu amateur life-guard.

Sparklers are always a favorite part of the holiday. While the adults are off playing with the big rockets, children are often distracted from waiting on full night with a handful of sparklers. You may not realize it, but those things burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass. Your tiny tot doesn’t have the arm length or likely the dexterity to keep that heat far enough away from their body for safety. Hand them a glow stick instead to ensure they don’t get burned.

There have been some suggestions to cut a small hole in the bottom of a red drink cup and poke the sparkler handle through the hole to help protect little hands, but that doesn’t always work so well either. It’s difficult to get the hole just the right size so the sparkler doesn’t slide through and burn fingers.

If having real, live sparklers is an important part of your Independence Day experience and something you wish to pass on to the small ones, I have found another potential solution that might work for you. This DIY mom offers a full tutorial on how to make these festive holders in almost no time at all.

Have a Happy (and Safe!) Fourth of July Celebration!