Fireworks are probably the most iconic part of every year’s Independence Day festivities.
The danger with fireworks is that a lot of people forget that they are explosives, and that’s how they caused 12 deaths and ten thousand injuries in 2019 alone (mostly between mid-June and mid-July), according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s report. 15% of those injuries were eye injuries.
What’s So Dangerous About Fireworks?
To anyone who has never been injured by fireworks, it might seem strange to think of them as dangerous, but even sparklers burn as hot as 3000°F. Pieces of shrapnel or live sparks from a firework can easily cause permanent damage and vision loss if we aren’t taking precautions. We should be treating these explosives as dangerous and doing everything necessary to protect our eyes.
Fireworks Safety Tips
Our best advice for fireworks safety is to stay well out of range and enjoy a professional fireworks display without ever actually handling them, but we know a lot of people love doing their own fireworks. (Still make sure they’re within the legal limits for the area, of course.) Here are a few rules to follow with those:
- Read all of the instructions before using your fireworks, especially how far away to stand when they go off. Follow these instructions carefully!
- NEVER aim a firework at people or animals (or yourself), no matter how small the firework is.
- Don’t look into the tube to check if a lit firework seems to be a dud.
- Wear safety goggles at all times when working closely with fireworks. Goggles can be the difference between walking away from an accident without injuries and being permanently blinded.
- Carefully supervise any older children using fireworks and keep young children away from them. (This includes sparklers and firecrackers.)
- Follow any state and local laws about fireworks.
If an Accident Does Happen With a Firework
Accidents sometimes happen even when we’re being careful, and in those cases, the next steps are critical. If the injured eye has a piece of firework in it, do not try to remove it. Tape a cup over the injured eye to prevent the person from rubbing or touching it and go straight to the emergency room. The sooner medical professionals can begin treatment, the better the chances are for recovery.
Have a Safe and Fun Independence Day!
We hope all of our patients are able to enjoy their 4th of July without any fireworks-related injuries getting in the way. If you’d like to know more about how to keep your celebration safe for the eyes of everyone involved, we’re happy to discuss it with you. Give us a call or send us an email.