Dutch fireworks safety campaign says sparklers aren’t safe for kids
A recent campaign launched by national safety organisation VeiligheidNL, in conjunction with the Dutch government, aims to remind families that “children’s fireworks do not exist”, and advise them not to let children under the age of 12 let off any fireworks - including sparklers - on New Year’s Eve.
VeiligheidNL: Children's fireworks do not exist
While a national fireworks ban has been in place for the last two New Year’s Eves as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the government’s ban didn’t include F1 decorative fireworks, such as sparklers and fountains. VeiligheidNL points out that this led to a significant increase in the number of injuries caused by F1 fireworks, specifically among children under the age of 15.
“Almost two-thirds of the victims of F1 fireworks were under the age of 10 - a good reason for VeiligheidNL and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to increase the knowledge about F1 decorative fireworks among parents of young children,” VeiligheidNL writes on its website.
“For many people, ornamental fireworks are part of the turn of the year. But they also cause a lot of injury and disturbance every year,” says State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, Vivianne Heijnen. “We must do everything we can… to make the turn of the year as safe as possible.”
How can families in the Netherlands stay safe on New Year's Eve?
Through the campaign Kindervuurwerk bestaat niet (“children's fireworks do not exist”), the government and VeiligheidNL advise parents not to let children under the age of 12 let off any fireworks, pointing out that few people know that F1 fireworks (e.g. sparklers) are prohibited for children under 12.
The campaign also attempts to educate parents about proper fireworks safety for children and teenagers: “To prevent eye injuries, it is advised to always wear fireworks glasses when watching and setting off these hoax and joke fireworks…Keep your distance from people and pets during lighting. At least 1 metre for F1 decorative fireworks and at least 8 metres for F2 decorative fireworks.”