Enjoy the fireworks, festivities but watch out for the children, too


NEW BERN, Craven County - We're all dressed up in our best red, white and blue for tonight's rockets red glare. But if you're taking little ones out to see the fireworks, be prepared.

You've heard all that whizzing, crackling and loud bangs can startle pets. It's the same for small children, too. The loud experience can be challenging for the delicate hearing of the little ones. According to ear, nose and throat experts, fireworks produce a sound output of between 150-170 decibels. The World Health Organization recommends limiting noise exposure to 140 decibels for adults and 120 for children. WHO also recommends children stay about 200 feet from fireworks set-off points. Infants should not be exposed to fireworks at all. If you must, you are urged to play it safe. "The biggest thing for (Tuesday night) is the noise," said Sean Ostmann of the New Bern Fire Department. "So if they are small children, put some hearing protection in. You can buy ear plugs at Walmart or a local hardware store or you can get the big ear muffs, some kids might like that better because you are not sticking something into their ears." The heat can also be an issue, especially for babies. Fire ants can also be around on the ground so be careful where you place your blankets for sitting and enjoying the fireworks.

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