Making Fireworks Fun for the Sound-Sensitive Child

The 4th of July is approaching!  Cookouts, sparklers, pool parties, and….uh oh FIREWORKS!!!!!  For a lot of kids, fireworks are no big deal.  But if your child has a hard time dealing with fireworks, then a simple 4th of July party can become a source of significant anxiety.

Here are a few ways to help your little one get through the festivities:

1.  Tell your child what to expect ahead of time.  Let them know how the day will go and the order of activities.  Tell them what fireworks are and how they work.  If your child is a little older, go online and have them help you find out about the “anatomy of the firework.”  This will help decrease any anxiety regarding the unknown and give your child a sense of control.

2.  Allow your child to bring a comfort item:  a stuffed animal, a favorite blanket, or a favorite toy.

3.  Let your child sit in your lap if they like and give them big bear hugs, massage their arms and legs, or wrap them tightly in their blanket.  The deep pressure is very comforting to kids (to us big kids too) and it lets your child know that you are right there with them.

4.  Give them a favorite snack to eat during the firework show.  Believe it or not chewy foods are very calming to the body.  So, if your child likes fruit leather, dried fruit, or chewing gum, then these would be a great option.  If not, a familiar and comforting snack will still help to make your child feel more at ease.  For older children, candy or lollipops that they can suck can also be very calming.

5.  Bring a set of headphones or ear plugs to dampen the sound of the fireworks.  One of those old-fashion sets that cover the ears are perfect for the younger kids!  Or sit in the car to watch the fireworks.

6.  Be positive!!!  Talk about how pretty the fireworks are, what they symbolize, and why you are celebrating.  Provide words of encouragement and no matter how they do, praise them for giving it their best effort!

Have a safe, happy, and stress-free holiday!

 

8 thoughts on “Making Fireworks Fun for the Sound-Sensitive Child

  1. Thanks for this great list. I’m an OT and was just thinking about sitting down to write a post about this very topic, but then I saw your post mentioned in the AOTA 1-Minute Update and decided to link to yours instead of basically writing the same thing. Fun to see other OTs helping out the community!

  2. Pingback: How to help kids have fun during 4th of July fireworks | Mama OT

  3. I think that it would be wise for the little ones to watch the fireworks on TV the first time. That way you can control the sound, etc. Or perhaps show your little one some recorded fireworks, several times before taking them out to the real thing, in order to get them accustomed to them ahead of time.
    Kitty @;-)

  4. I believe these strategies could also be used by teachers in the classroom to help children with sound sensitivity. Other ways: Preparing for an assembly, a field trip, etc. For home, preparing for a plane trip, a train trip, a car trip, a trip to the store, etc.

  5. I really enjoyed your articles and pictures to go along with them. Very attractive and clear, easy to understand and fun to read too. Thank you

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