You would think most adults would be aware of the dangers of fireworks, but not all are. Adults and children are in danger if someone is playing with fireworks. Throughout the end of June and beginning of July we find emergency rooms full of eye injuries from fireworks. Fireworks and eye safety: what to know.
Know The Facts And Stats
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission report in 2021, deaths and severe injuries due to fireworks increased 50% during the COVID pandemic. Eye injuries are among the most severe and the include the following:
- Detached retinas
- Ruptured eyeballs
- Scratches on the cornea
All of these eye injuries can cause permanent vision loss.
14% of injured were children under the age of 5.
36% were under the age of 15.
50% were under the age of 20, and 65% of all injuries happen to bystanders. This tells us that not only are those handling the fireworks in danger, but so is everyone else nearby.
The National Fire Prevention Association estimates local fire departments respond to over 50K fires caused by fireworks.
More Facts: Eye Injuries Are A Medical Emergency
Do not try to treat an eye injury yourself. Go immediately to an ER. Do not rinse your eyes, apply pressure, take aspirin, or remove anything that might be stuck in the eye.
Best Advice For Fireworks And Eye Safety
The absolute best advice to prevent eye injuries is to only attend professional fireworks displays.
However, if you are in a state where the purchase of fireworks is legal, you must take certain precautions if you decide to use them at home. Some of these may sound obvious, but read each carefully.d
- Firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are too dangerous for children to handle. Sparklers can reach a temperature close to 2000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals.
- Only use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose handy.
- Never joke around or point a firework at someone.
- Wear eye protection.
- Soak all used fireworks in buckets of water before throwing them away.
- Animals and pets can be frightened due to their sensitive ears. Keep them inside.
- Never buy fireworks wrapped in brown paper. These are for professionals.
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket. The friction can light them.
- Never use fireworks if you have been drinking alcohol or are impaired by drugs.
Celebrate Safely! Keep everyone in your family safe by adhering to the above tips.
Contact Pediatric Opthalmology & Strabismus Associates at (610) 347-7672 if anyone in your family has an eye injury by fireworks.