Most likely, you thought of fireworks. They are certainly a dazzling and exciting part of the festivities, but they can also be a serious hazard if not handled with caution. Fireworks aren’t just pretty to look at, they are explosives. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s report, in 2021 at least 18 people across the country died in incidents with fireworks and about 15,600 needed treatment in a hospital. 15% of those injuries were eye injuries.
How are fireworks so dangerous? Even sparklers burn as hot as 3000°F, and fireworks throw off live sparks and pieces of shrapnel, any of which can cause permanent vision loss if it reaches the eye. It’s critical to treat these pyrotechnic devices as explosives and take precautions so that our celebrations aren’t marred by injuries.
The first, most important safety tip with fireworks is to stay out of range if they go in the wrong direction and simply enjoy the professional fireworks displays without personally handling any of them. However, we know many people love doing fireworks themselves. Provided that they’re within the legal limits of the area, here are essential safety rules to follow:
Following all of the safety instructions will be enough to prevent most injuries from fireworks, but if an accident does happen, the next steps are critical. If there’s a piece of firework in the injured eye, don’t attempt to remove it. Tape a cup over the injured eye to protect it and keep the injured person from trying to touch it. Go straight to the emergency room. The sooner doctors can begin treating the injury, the better the chances are for recovery.
We wish all of our patients a fun 4th of July with family, friends, good food, and no fireworks-related injuries! To learn more about how you can keep your celebration safe for everyone present, we’d be happy to discuss it with you. Send us an email or give us a call.