Fireworks and Sensory Sensitivity: How Does Pediatric Nervous System Chiropractic Care Provide Support on the Fourth of July?

The Fourth of July is a time of celebration, vibrant fireworks lighting up the night sky, patriotic music filling the air, and families gathering for festivities. However, for kiddos with sensory processing difficulties, this holiday can be a source of significant stress and discomfort. Understanding the unique challenges these children face and how pediatric nervous system chiropractic care can provide support, is so important for a more relaxed and enjoyable celebration.


Sensory Processing Difficulties and the Fourth of July

 Sensory processing difficulties—also known as sensory processing disorder (SPD)—include a wide range of challenges related to how the nervous system receives, processes, and responds to sensory stimulation. These stimuli include sights, sounds, textures, tastes, and smells. For children with SPD, fireworks can trigger sensory overload, leading to overwhelming sensations that can be distressing for them.

 Children with hypersensitivity, a common symptom of SPD, can find the loud noises from fireworks painfully loud, the bright lights blinding, and the smell of smoke overwhelming. On the other hand, children with hyposensitivity might want exciting sensory experiences. This can lead to risky behaviors such as moving too close to fireworks or other potentially dangerous situations.


The Role of Pediatric Nervous System Chiropractic Care

 Pediatric nervous system chiropractic care focuses on addressing imbalances within the nervous system to improve overall sensory processing and integration. This approach can be particularly helpful for children with sensory processing difficulties during sensory-rich events like the Fourth of July.

 Dr. Angela read about a young boy named Logan and his parents’ experiencing this very thing: Logan’s parents tried every traditional therapy and method available to help him manage his emotions, calm his behavior, and appropriately recognize sensory cues for everyday activities like using the bathroom and getting dressed.

 Like millions of other children, Logan experienced sensory processing issues from infancy. Contrary to what their pediatrician repeatedly assured them, Logan did not outgrow these issues. Instead, his sensory nervous system became more stressed, dysfunctional, and prone to everyday struggles.

 Logan’s parent’s learned the true cause of Sensory Processing Disorder and found natural ways to calm Logan’s sensory storm without relying on drugs or conventional therapies like PT, OT, and Speech Therapy. Click here to see a video that Dr. Angela did explaining it in more detail.


Understanding Nervous System Dysregulation

 Nervous system dysregulation, often known as the inability to regulate emotions, happens when the nervous system malfunctions or becomes imbalanced. This impedes its regular functioning and ability to regulate its response to stimulus. This dysregulation can manifest in a variety of ways, including physiological, emotional, and cognitive difficulties.

Subluxation is a major contributor to nervous system dysregulation, which occurs when the nervous system is overstressed and out of balance. This may disrupt sensory processing and communication between the brain and the rest of the body. When subluxation occurs, it frequently causes dysautonomia. That is a big word which simply defines disorders that interrupt your autonomic nervous system. When this occurs, the overstimulated sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight”) overpowers the underactive parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and regulate”).


How Chiropractic Care Helps

 Chiropractic care aims to correct subluxations and bring balance to the nervous system. By doing so, it enables the body to process sensory information better. Here’s how Dr. Angela and Dr. Ariel support children with these challenges, especially during the noise and excitement Fourth of July:

 Adjusting the Nervous System: Gentle chiropractic adjustments help realign the spine and reduce subluxations. This process can alleviate pressure on the nervous system, promoting better communication between the brain and sensory organs.

Improving Vagus Nerve Function: The vagus nerve is so important for sensory processing and control. Chiropractic care can improve vagus nerve function. This helps to relax and regulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This helps our kiddos deal with sensory overload more effectively.

Improving Sense of Balance and Space: The sense of body position and balance and spatial orientation are so important for moving through sensory-rich situations. Chiropractic care can enhance these processes, allowing our kiddos to feel more anchored and less overwhelmed by their surroundings.

Reducing Sensory Overload Symptoms: This is such an important one for our SPD kiddos! By addressing nervous system dysregulation, chiropractic care can reduce symptoms of sensory overload, like: anxiety, irritability, and emotional meltdowns. This makes it easier for them to participate in celebrations without becoming overwhelmed.


Tips for Parents to Help Children with Sensory Processing Disorders on the Fourth of July

While chiropractic care can provide significant benefits, there are also practical steps parents can take to support their little ones with sensory processing difficulties during noisy and exciting celebrations:

  • Create a Safe Space: Provide a quiet, sensory-friendly space where your child can retreat if they feel overwhelmed. Bring comfort items like noise-canceling earplugs or headphones, soft blankets, and familiar toys.
  • Plan Ahead: Prepare your child for what to expect. Discuss the sights, sounds, and smells they might encounter during the celebrations. Use social stories or visual schedules to help them understand the upcoming events.
  • Schedule Breaks: Plan regular breaks throughout the day to give your kiddo time to decompress and avoid sensory overload. Use these breaks to do calming activities like deep breathing or gentle stretches.
  • Consider Alternative Celebrations: If traditional fireworks are too overwhelming, consider alternative ways to celebrate, such as watching fireworks from a distance, attending a daytime parade, or creating a quiet celebration at home.
  • Stay Calm and Supportive: Children often take cues from their parents. Staying calm and supportive can help your child feel more secure and less anxious. Support their feelings and provide reassurance throughout the celebrations.

 The Fourth of July can be a challenging time for our SPD little ones; but with the right support, they can enjoy the celebrations just like any other child. Pediatric nervous system chiropractic care offers a holistic approach to managing these sensitivities by addressing nervous system imbalances and enhancing sensory processing.

Combined with practical strategies for managing sensory overload, this approach can make the holiday a fun and inclusive experience for all our kiddos! So, as you gather to watch the fireworks this Fourth of July, remember the power of gentle care and thoughtful preparation in creating a celebration that everyone can enjoy.

Contact Dr. Angela and Dr. Ariel at 760-740-9799 to help your children light up the sky with vibrant health this firework season! We are here to help.

For more information and tips, see our articles:

Sleighing the Holidays: A Survival Guide to Navigating the Holidays with Children with Sensory Processing Disorder.

Empowering Moms: Nurturing Superhero Kids with Autism to Flourish Again