Preventing Fireworks Eye Injuries
There’s something about a fireworks display that brings out feelings of childlike wonder in all of us.
The last thing we want is for that enjoyment to be marred by eye injuries, but unfortunately, this happens far too often.
Handle All Explosives With Care
Fireworks might just seem like harmless lights and sounds to anyone who hasn’t been injured by them, but what we need to remember is that everything from Roman candles to mortars is actually an explosive. They fling tiny pieces of shrapnel in every direction at high speeds when they go off, so it’s critical to remain a safe distance away.
What about firecrackers and sparklers? Even these are far from safe to have near children’s eyes. Sparklers burn hotter than 1200°F. To minimize risk of injury, make sure any children under the age of 12 are under close supervision while using them, don’t run while holding them, always hold them at arm’s length from your body, and never use more than one at a time. And protective eyewear wouldn’t hurt!
Fireworks Eye Injury Statistics
Thousands of Americans are injured by fireworks every year. 1,300 people went to emergency rooms specifically for eye injuries in 2014 alone. The worst part is that the majority of these injuries were sustained by innocent bystanders, not careless firework operators. Just one spark or piece of shrapnel is capable of causing permanent blindness, so make sure this doesn’t happen to you or your loved ones!
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to skip doing them at home and only go to professional shows. However, there are several safety rules you can follow if you do purchase fireworks to set off at home:
- Read all the labels on your fireworks and carefully follow any safety instructions.
- Wear protective goggles at all times. Once shrapnel starts flying, goggles can be the difference between permanent blindness and walking away with no injury.
- Closely supervise all young children around fireworks. Ideally, you should keep children under age 12 away from all fireworks, including sparklers and firecrackers.
In Case Of Injury
Even when we follow all the rules, accidents can still happen. If you or someone you know does sustain an eye injury this 4th of July, don’t rub, rinse out, or apply pressure or any ointment to the injured eye, because this could cause more damage. Instead, go straight to the emergency room. The sooner the eye gets treatment, the better the chances are for recovery.
Stay Safe And Have A Blast!
We want everyone to have a great time celebrating Independence Day with your family, friends, food, and fireworks. Just make sure you stay safe while you’re having fun!
We wish all our patients a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.