I’ll be signing off for a long weekend of family, friends, fun and four-wheeling, but first…let’s talk about sparklers.
Neither of my boys has ever played with a sparkler. I know. I’m a mean mom. An overprotective freak. Or any of the less pleasant names I’ve heard muttered about me when somebody asks if SK can have a sparkler and I say “I’d prefer he doesn’t, but thank you anyway”.
Two. Thousand. Degrees.
The average temperature of a sparkling sparkler is 1800 to 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1000 to 1600 degrees Celsius. Two thousand degrees. How hot is that? While not as hot as an acetylene-fueled torch, it gives a propane-fueled flame a run for its money. That pan of boiling water we warn our children away from? A mere 212 degrees (F).
People can’t understand why I don’t let my sons play with sparklers. To be honest, I can’t understand how anybody can hand a group of small children sticks burning at 2000 degrees and laugh while they wave them around. We’ve watched campers set up a perimeter worthy of the Secret Service to keep a child away from the propane-fueled camp stove flame, then hand that child burning sparklers, one for each hand.
How do my kids feel about it? They each, at some point, asked for a sparkler. The words two, thousand and degrees pretty much cured them of any desire to touch them. I buy those glow-in-the-dark neon sticks and “jewelry”, instead, and SK has a great time. His lights come in neon colors and last a long time.
For the record, you can write your name against the dark sky with a glo-stick.
I know sparklers are as Fourth of July as cook-outs, fireworks and flags. I don’t lecture other parents or carry on about it. I just politely decline if they’re offered to my kids. They’re a staple of the American childhood. I get it. Really.
But please, please be careful.
Have a happy (and safe) Fourth of July if you’re a fellow American and just a great regular weekend if you’re not, and I’ll see you on Monday!