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Basic Eye Safety Around Fireworks

How do you celebrate the Fourth of July?

Perhaps with a festive barbecue, a lively parade, or decked out in vibrant red, white, and blue attire? For many, fireworks are a highlight, dazzling us with their explosive beauty. But amidst the excitement, it’s crucial to remember the risks involved. Fireworks are not just stunning visual displays; they are powerful explosives. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were around 10,200 fireworks-related injuries in 2023, with fatalities reaching at least 11. Notably, eye injuries account for approximately 16% of these incidents.

Are Fireworks Truly Hazardous?

Absolutely. Consider the seemingly harmless sparkler, which can reach temperatures up to 3000°F. Fireworks can emit live sparks and small fragments of debris that pose serious dangers. These particles have the potential to inflict permanent damage to the eyes. It’s crucial to recognize fireworks for what they are — potent explosives — and to take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of injuries.

Your Fireworks Safety Guide

The most critical safety measure for fireworks is to maintain a safe distance. Even well-planned fireworks can misfire, but if you’re watching from a safe distance, particularly at a professional display, you’re less likely to get hurt. If you prefer to set off your own fireworks, adhere strictly to these guidelines:

  • Carefully read and follow all instructions included with your fireworks.
  • NEVER point fireworks at people, animals, or yourself.
  • Avoid peering into a firework tube to check if it’s a dud — this is extremely dangerous.
  • Wear safety goggles when handling fireworks to protect your eyes from potential harm.
  • Ensure that any child using fireworks is under strict supervision, and keep very young children away from all fireworks, including sparklers and firecrackers.
  • Comply with all local and state laws regarding fireworks.
  • Refrain from using fireworks if you have consumed alcohol.

What to Do If an Accident Occurs

Even with the strictest adherence to safety protocols, accidents can still happen. If you or someone else suffers an eye injury from fireworks where debris becomes lodged in the eye, do not attempt to remove it. Instead, secure a cup over the affected eye to shield it from further injury and prevent any contact with it. Seek emergency medical care immediately. Prompt treatment significantly improves the likelihood of a successful recovery.

Enjoy a Safe and Fun Independence Day!

We wish all our patients a delightful 4th of July surrounded by your favorite people. Please be cautious to prevent any fireworks-related injuries. If you need additional tips on how to keep your celebrations safe for everyone, feel free to call or email us.

We cherish each and every one of our patients!

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.