Preventing burns from campfires and fireworks

Kids watching fireworks

Most burn injuries are preventable.

Campfires and fireworks are common activities during summer. They can be fun, but they can also be unsafe. Every year, campfires and fireworks cause very serious burns, including to children.

Here are tips on how to prevent burns when around campfires or fireworks.


Keep your child at a safe distance from campfires. Draw a "safety circle" around the fire that they must not cross. This circle should be at least 1.20 metres (about 4 feet) from the edge of the fire.

Do not let your child play around the campfire. Most burns happen when children fall or walk into the campfire by accident.

Put campfires out with water instead of sand. Covering a fire lets it retain its heat. Children can be burned from the hot ashes and coals of last night's fire. An adult should be able to put their hand directly over the ashes without feeling heat to know the fire is out.


Leave fireworks to the professionals. This is the safest way to enjoy fireworks and avoid burns. Sit back and watch instead.

Children under five years old should not be allowed to use sparklers. Preschool-aged children do not have the coordination to handle fireworks safely. Do not leave your child alone with sparklers.

Do not let your child set off fireworks. Only adults should light fireworks. Children and any other viewers should be at least 20 metres (about 50 feet) away when fireworks are lit.

Key points

  • Do not let your child come close to a campfire or fireworks.
  • Do not let your child play with sparklers or lit fireworks on fire.
Charis Kelly, RN(EC), MN