Each Fourth of July,
thousands of people are injured from using consumer fireworks. According to the
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 9,000 fireworks-related
injuries happen each year. Of these, nearly half are head-related injuries with
nearly 30 percent of these injuries to the eyes. One-fourth of fireworks eye injuries result in permanent vision loss or blindness.
July is Fireworks Eye Safety
Awareness Month, and we at EyeCare 20/20 want to remind you to leave fireworks to
professionals. Too many Fourth of July celebrations are ruined because a child
has to be rushed to the emergency room after a fireworks accident. Potentially blinding injuries can be avoided if
families attend a professional public fireworks display instead of putting on a
home fireworks display.
Children are the most common
victims of firework accidents, with those fifteen years old or younger
accounting for half of all fireworks eye injuries in the United States. For
children under the age of five, seemingly innocent sparklers account for one-third
of all fireworks injuries. Sparklers can burn at nearly 2,000 degrees
Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause a third-degree burn.
Among the most serious injuries are abrupt trauma to the
eye from bottle rockets.
The rockets fly erratically, often injuring bystanders. Injuries from bottle
rockets can include eye lid lacerations, corneal abrasions, traumatic cataract,
retinal detachment, optic nerve damage, rupture of the eyeball, eye muscle
damage, and complete blindness.
For a safe and healthy Independence Day
celebration, follow of the following tips:
- Never let children play with fireworks of any
- View fireworks from a safe distance: at least
500 feet away, or up to a quarter of a mile for best viewing.
- Respect safety barriers set up to allow
pyrotechnicians to do their jobs safely.
- Leave the lighting of fireworks to trained
- Follow directives given by event ushers or
public safety personnel.
- If you find unexploded fireworks remains, do not
touch them. Immediately contact your local fire or police departments.
- If you
get an eye injury from fireworks, seek medical help immediately.
We at EyeCare 20/20 wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July Holiday Weekend!
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