However, it’s easy to forget that fireworks are explosives. Injuries from fireworks are so common that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) publishes yearly reports on the matter. According to the 2018 report, 9,100 fireworks-related injuries were treated in hospitals during the year, over half of which happened in July alone. A fifth of them were eye injuries, and these are just the injuries the CPSC knows about.
Fireworks are not just pretty sparks and lights. When a firework goes off, it’s exploding, and pieces of firework shrapnel or live sparks can easily strike an unprotected eye and cause permanent vision loss. Even sparklers can be dangerous, as the sparks burn as hot as 3000°F. That’s not something we want near our eyes, or the eyes of a child.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is not to handle them at all, but to watch a professional fireworks show from a safe distance. However, if you do end up buying some fireworks of your own, make sure to follow some basic safety rules.
Even when we do everything right, sometimes an injury will still happen. If it does, what we do next is very important. Go straight to the emergency room for treatment. If the injured eye has a piece of firework in it, do not attempt to remove it. Tape a cup over the eye to prevent the injured person from rubbing or touching the eye. The sooner the eye can be treated by medical professionals, the better the chances are for recovery.
We of course want all of our patients to enjoy their 4th of July this year. Nothing would ruin that faster than an injury, especially an eye injury, so feel free to give us a call if you want to know more about how to keep your celebration safe for all who attend!