Fireworks + Eyes: What You Need To Know

The 4th of July is the ultimate summer celebration. And with it comes celebratory fireworks: professional firework displays, sparklers, roman candles, firecrackers and more.

According to AllAboutVision.com, an estimated 10,500 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2014, with 7,000 of them during a one-month study period of June 20 to July 20, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. About 1,300 of the injuries during that month were eye injuries.

Did you know that sparklers are a major cause of firework related eye injuries each year? 19% of all injuries related to fireworks are eye injuries. The risk is for injury is much higher for ages 15-24 and children under 10. Firework safety starts with common sense, make sure to light fireworks from a distance, do not stand over fireworks when lighting them, keep children and pets at a safe distance and keep water around in case of a fire.

Follow these helpful safety tips from the American Optometric Association and your holiday celebration will be free of any accidents!

Firework Safety

1. Do not allow young children to handle fireworks and never leave them unsupervised near fireworks.

2. Wear protective eyewear when lighting and handling fireworks of any kind.

3. Refrain from purchasing sparklers. Heating up to 2,000 degrees, sparklers are the number one cause of fireworks injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.

4. Be aware of your surroundings and only light fireworks when family, friends and children are at a safe distance.

5. Be sure to keep a large bucket of water or hose handy for extinguishing fireworks and potential fires.

The best prevention you can take part in, is allowing the professionals to handle the fireworks at a professional display.

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.

If an eye-related injury does occur, the best first aid to administer is to not touch the eye, call 911 immediately. Touching the eye may worsen the injury.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Sources: AllAboutVision.com, GetEyesSmart.org