It just wouldn’t be a Fourth of July celebration without fireworks — but for some, the fireworks display is less than enjoyable.
Young children, pets and even veterans can have a difficult time with all of the noise that comes with seeing beautiful streaks of color in the sky. That’s precisely why Collecchio, Italy, passed a law that only permits the use of “quiet fireworks.”
“Quiet fireworks” may seem like an oxymoron, but there is a good chance you’ve seen them before, as these types of fireworks are usually incorporated into a traditional display. Ever seen the “comet tail” type that shoots a streak across the sky and then sparkles before it fades away? Then you’ve seen “quiet fireworks” — and you probably thought they were just as beautiful as the loud, booming ones.
Reactions To Loud Fireworks
Fireworks displays can terrify animals, both domesticated and wild ones, who don’t understand the source of the scary noises. A spokesperson for PETA, Colin Henstock, told Hawaii News Now that dogs can have an especially difficult time dealing with the sounds.
“When around fireworks, dogs panic and are known to jump through glass windows, jump over fences, get lost or even killed,” he warned.
Animals aren’t the only ones who find fireworks bothersome. Some children have a sensitivity to sustained loud noises. As Dr. Alan Greene wrote for Parents magazine:
“All of our ears are vulnerable to loud noises, especially sustained loud noises … Some of kids’ senses aren’t as well developed as [adults] (vision, for instance), and others are even more acute, such as taste and hearing, so the fireworks may sound louder to [them].”
For combat veterans or others dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the loud noises could trigger a “fight-or-flight response,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Some combat veterans have taken to posting signs outside their homes asking neighbors to “be courteous with fireworks.”
Can You Have “Quiet Fireworks” In Your Town?
“Quiet fireworks” seem to be a way to appeal to a large audience, without excluding anyone or making them feel uncomfortable.
Collecchio passed its law excluding loud fireworks back in 2015, but towns in the United States are slower to embrace the idea. However, if you’re interested in having your town put on a “quiet fireworks” display, try contacting your town officials about the issue.
In the meantime, All Sparks Fireworks recommends sky lanterns as a quiet alternative for a personal July 4 celebration — and sparklers can also be a fun idea for the older kids, as well.
Happy Fourth to you and your family, and here’s to hoping you find the perfect way to ring in Independence Day — noise or no!