In 1994, a law required lighters to be made child resistant and for some reason novelty lighters were exempt. To this day, novelty lighters do not have child-resistant features and many children have been able to figure our how to ignite the lighters. Convenience stores, such as gas stations, often display novelty lighters right in front, near the candy shelves. When adults can’t even tell the difference between these lighters and toys, how can we expect a young child to? Many of these lighters resemble, ironically, fire trucks, fire extinguishers, a Dalmatian wearing a fire hat and even a yellow ducky that actually makes a quacking noise which appeal to children.
To protect our children, the following states have successfully passed a legislation to ban these novelty lighters: Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine. Although, that seems like a lot of states, many more have failed to pass this legislation or have not even been introduced to this idea.
Be sure to always enact these safety tips with your children:
- Adults must keep all matches and lighters out of the hands of children.
- Store lighters in a high cabinet.
- Buy child-resistant lighters, but keep in mind they are not childproof.
- Teach children not to touch matches and lighters and to tell a grown-up when they see them lying around.
- Never allow children to play with lighters. Children as young as 2 years old have been able to operate lighters and start fires with them.