Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Veterans and Fireworks

Fireworks can upset veterans who have PTSD. The same can happen to other trauma survivors, people with anxiety, anyone with a low startle reflex, etc. Know how to help someone with PTSD or panic attack. Here are some concrete ways to say "thank you for your service" with more than just words ...

* Warn veteran neighbors if you plan to light fireworks. If possible, give a specific start and end time, and stay within that range.

* Choose shiny over noisy backyard fireworks. Sparklers and miniature roman candles make much less noise than firecrackers. Some people like completely different effects, such as snakes and smoke bombs. But remember that the gunpowder still smells, and that can be a trigger too.

* View a public fireworks show instead of shooting off your own. They're easier to avoid for people who don't like them.

* Watch fireworks on television. The big fandangous shows from major cities are customarily broadcast.

* Visit a rural friend and shoot fireworks where nobody's nearby. This is also much safer than doing it in town because misfires are less likely to hit something flammable. (Do NOT use fireworks if the weather has been dry.)

* If you are not shooting fireworks, ask veteran friends if they'd like to come over and do something else indoors. Watch a movie, play music, have a video game competition -- anything to provide a distraction and help cover the sound.

* Don't forget the smell of gunpowder! Outside, barbecue or citronella help cover it. Indoors, choose uplifting scents like citrus, relaxing ones like lavender, or comforting ones like baking bread. Try not to burn anything.

And here's a link to a story that I wrote a while back, "What Fireworks Are Like."
Tags: entertainment, holiday, safety
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