Firework Eye Safety

June 23, 2016

With the July 4th Holiday coming, I thought that it would be a good idea to review eye safety.

Thousands of people, many children suffer yearly from eye injuries related to fireworks.  Many of them can cause permanent loss of vision.  Also, many people who suffer  from these injuries are bystanders.  Over a third of those injured are children under the age of 15.  

 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology advises that the best way to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional public fireworks show rather than purchasing fireworks for home use.

For those who attend professional fireworks displays and/or live in communities surrounding the shows:

  • Respect safety barriers at fireworks shows and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.

  • Do not touch unexploded fireworks; instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.

For those who decide to purchase consumer fireworks because they live in states where they are legal, the Academy recommends the following safety tips to prevent eye injuries:

  • Never let young children play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers.

  • People who handle fireworks should always wear protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute and ensure that all bystanders are also wearing eye protection.

  • Leave the lighting of professional-grade fireworks to trained pyrotechnicians.

What to do for a fireworks eye injury

 

If an eye injury from fireworks occurs, remember:

  • Seek medical attention immediately.

  • Do not rub your eyes.

  • Do not rinse your eyes.

  • Do not apply pressure.

  • Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.

  • Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

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