Fireworks and Eye Injuries
With the 4th of July holiday quickly approaching, Dr. Greenberg urges everyone to take extra precaution to prevent fireworks-related eye injuries. More than 9,000 fireworks injuries occur in the U.S. each year with approximately 45% of those being children under the age of 16. Eyes are among the most injured and 1 in 6 results in permanent vision loss or blindness.
All fireworks are dangerous if not properly handled. Sparklers cause the most injury since most are handled by children on their own. Sparklers typically burn almost 1,000 degrees hotter than the boiling point of water, hot enough to melt glass and cause third-degree burns. Bottle rockets also cause some of the most serious eye injuries.
Of course, the best way to avoid fireworks-related eye injuries is to attend a professional fireworks show, but for those who choose to use legal fireworks at home please follow these safety tips to avoid eye injuries:
- Always wear protective eyewear and have all bystanders wear eye protection.
- Do not have any flammable materials nearby.
- Watch from at least 500 feet away.
- Never let young children handle fireworks.
- Leave the professional-grade fireworks to the trained professionals.
- Do not touch an unexploded firework.
If a fireworks-related eye injury occurs call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.
Greenberg Laser Eye Center wishes everyone a happy, safe 4th of July!