Firework safety is typically the last thing on our minds when celebrating our nation’s freedom. Fireworks are a significant component when it comes to us celebrating, but approximately 2000 eye injuries occur each year from consumer fireworks use. About one-third of these injuries result in permanent eye damage and one-fourth in permanent vision loss or blindness. Almost one in twenty fireworks-related eye injury victims lose all useful vision or require removal of the eye. Data from the United States Eye Injury Registry shows that bystanders are more often injured by fireworks than the operators themselves. Eye injuries are caused mostly by sparklers, bottle rockets and multiple-tube devices. The eye injuries are mostly contusions, lacerations and foreign bodies, and burns.
Children are curious and eager around fireworks, which increases their chances of being injured. For children under five years old, sparklers are accounted for most of the cause. Parents often don’t realize that sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, that’s hot enough to melt some metals. It’s a good idea to review firework safety with children before festivities.
Firework safety tips for preventing eye injuries:
1. Always make sure to wear protective eye wear when you are in contact with fireworks.
2. Never let children play with fireworks.
3. Never shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
4. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
5. View fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
6. Never carry fireworks in a pocket.
7. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
8. Don’t touch any unexploded fireworks remains.
9. Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
10. Don’t let the kids play with fireworks, even sparklers!
11. Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks
Do not delay medical attention even for seemingly mild injuries. “Mildly” damaged areas can worsen and end in severe vision loss, even blindness that might not have happened if treatment had occurred immediately.
Emergency care is available to our patients 24/7. In the event of an eye injury or eye emergency, call Atlantic Eye Institute right away at (904) 241-7865.