Keep an eye out, firework-related eye injuries in the U.S. have doubled!
It’s almost the 4th of July and time to fire up the barbie, enjoy some cold drinks, and make sure your eyes are protected from the UV rays of the sun during the day and the fireworks that are sure to be part of your celebration that night.
While most of us love the fireworks with the bright lights, colorful sparks and huge sounds that go BOOM, please keep in mind that fireworks are still explosives. The statistics surrounding fireworks-related eye injuries are alarming. In 2017 alone, emergency rooms across the country treated an estimated 12,900 injuries from fireworks, and nearly 2000 of those were eye injuries. Over a third of these injuries were sustained by children under the age of 15, often because of sparklers or bottle rockets.
To help prevent these injuries, here are four myths about consumer fireworks risk:
- Small doesn’t equal safe. A common perpetrator of fireworks injuries is one that is often handed to small children — the popular sparkler. Many people mistakenly believe sparklers are harmless due to their size. However, they can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt gold. Yes, melt gold!
- Even though it looks like a dud, it may not act like one. Injury and serious eye trauma can occur when people mistakenly think that a firework is no longer active or hot. Never touch unexploded fireworks and you may want to call your local fire or police department to properly handle it.
- Just because you’re not lighting or throwing it doesn’t mean you’re out of the firing line. An international study of fireworks-related eye injuries showed that nearly half of the people injured by fireworks are bystanders. The research also found that one in six of these injuries caused severe vision loss.
- The holiday can be complete without using consumer fireworks. While legal in many states, they can be extremely dangerous and can cause significant injury, one of the more common injuries is to your eyes. Best to leave the lighting of fireworks to the professionals.
Please see the below safety tips for a safe and happy 4th:
- Never let children play with any type of firework, including sparklers. They are the number one cause of fireworks injuries.
- People who handle fireworks and all bystanders should wear protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute. Avoid carrying fireworks in your pocket. The friction could actually set them off, and that wouldn’t be pleasant.
- Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Keep a bucket of water nearby, just in case if lighting fireworks.
- Keep an eye on your pets. If your pooch isn’t cowering indoors, make sure he’s not in the line of fire either.
- When viewing a professional firework display, view fireworks from at least 500 feet away and respect all safety barriers.
If you or a friend or family member experience a fireworks-related eye injury:
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Avoid rubbing or rinsing the eyes or applying pressure.
- Do not remove any object from the eye, apply ointments or take any pain medication before seeking medical help.
We wish you a wonderful and safe 4th of July holiday! VED is closed on the 4th and will open again on July 5th with regular hours. We hope this information was helpful to you and If you need some fashionable sunglasses or safety glasses – you know where to find us. Happy 4th!