The 4th of July is right around the corner, and while that means food, fun and fireworks, it unfortunately also means injuries from fireworks accidents. The month of June is an important time dedicated to Fireworks Safety Month to promote ophthalmology education and awareness about injuries and damage caused by fireworks each year.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to be smart and find a public display. Many towns host their own shows, using top-of-the-line fireworks that you can’t buy at the fireworks stands. The evening will be much more enjoyable attending one of these spectacular displays rather than attempting fireworks on your own. Fireworks are damaging to people and property. Pay attention to fire bans in your area.
Fireworks and injury, unfortunately, go together. Fireworks are exploding devices, so they’re very dangerous and can cause serious injury. Each year, over 10,000 people are treated for fireworks injuries in American emergency rooms. About 1,300 of those injuries are eye injuries caused by handling the fireworks directly or just by being a bystander. Nearly 35 percent of all injuries are to kids age 15 and under. Never give fireworks to children.
When doing fireworks, read the labels and the cautions and know how the fireworks will perform prior to lighting them. If you decide to do your own fireworks, supervision should be provided by a responsible adult. Everyone who is handling fireworks including nearby bystanders, should wear safety glasses or other type of protective eyewear. Be cautious and responsible by only lighting fireworks in an area free of people, cars and homes. Fireworks should only be lit one at a time. If a firework remains unexploded, do not approach it and don't ever try to relight it. Always have water nearby to put out any fires the fireworks may cause.
If someone in your group does suffer an eye injury, here’s our advice from our eye doctors. Seek medical attention immediately by calling our office or going directly to your nearest emergency room. Never rub your eyes and do not apply pressure to the eyes. Don’t try to remove any objects from your eye as that may create further damage. Don’t apply any ointments and don’t take any aspirin or ibuprofen because that will further thin your blood and contribute to bleeding.
Our office wishes for you and your family to have a happy and healthy Fourth of July. Happy Birthday to the good old US of A!