Fireworks mark the celebration of joyous occasions in our lives, but if mishandled they can be extremely hazardous. In fact, fireworks injure thousands of Americans every year, especially those involving afflictions to the eyes. Playing with fireworks can leave you with permanent damage to your eyes, and the most serious being permanent blindness. So, this summer season, learn how to ensure the safety of your eyes by following proper fireworks safety tips.
Fireworks and Eye Injuries
In the event that you misuse fireworks or a malfunction occurs, there can be dangerous consequences for your eyesight. In the most severe cases, fireworks can rupture the eyeball, cause chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachment. These scary and often irreversible injuries can permanently damage your vision. Indeed, nearly half of the people that sustain injuries are merely bystanders, many of which are children under the age of 15. Needless to say, most fireworks injuries occur during the one-month period surrounding the Fourth of July.
- The most obvious way to avoid a catastrophic injury is to attend a professional fireworks show, rather than handling them yourself at home.
- Maintain a safe distance at fireworks shows and view them from at least 500 feet away.
- When managing fireworks at home, avoid letting young children play with them, even sparklers.
- All persons handling fireworks should wear protective eyewear, including bystanders.
In the Event of an Eye Emergency:
- Visit the emergency room immediately.
- Avoid touching or rubbing the eye.
- Do not remove any foreign objects from the eye.
- Never attempt to rinse out the eye.
- Do not apply pressure to the eye.
- Avoid using ointment or administering over-the-counter pain medication before seeking help.
This Fourth of July holiday, have fun and remember to take the proper precautions to prevent serious firework-related injuries. For more information on fireworks safety tips, visit The National Fire Protection Association website.