Protecting Your Eyes This Fourth of July

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Fireworks are an Integral Part of The Fourth of July

Arguably the most anticipated holiday of the entire summer, the Fourth of July is a time to celebrate the independence of our country. It involves watching parades, grilling outside, and watching fireworks. It is this last activity that does raise some cause for concern, however. According to a report done by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were nearly 13,000 injuries and 8 deaths due to fireworks in 2017. Nearly 14% of them were eye injuries, so it is important to protect your eyes this Fourth of July.

Potential Dangers

Children and young adults are more likely to be victims of injuries involving fireworks. Children age 15 and younger account for nearly 36% of total injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Eye injuries are one of the highest reported injuries sustained due to firework accidents, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Permanent vision loss happens in one out of every six cases. Some other eye injuries can include:

Texas is a state that allows the purchase of consumer fireworks, so injuries can happen while many operate them. However, it is also important to remember that fireworks do not only cause injuries to those handling them. In fact, bystanders make up about 65% of the injuries fireworks cause.

Protecting Your Eyes

Whether you intend on shooting off fireworks yourself or watching a firework show done by professionals, you should always keep your safety in mind. You don’t want to end up injuring your eye and potentially losing your vision. Here are a few eye protection tips you can use this Fourth of July:

  • Always Wear Eye Protection: If you do plan on handling your own fireworks this holiday, you should never light them without wearing safety glasses. This goes for sparks, projectiles, and any other firework.
  • Never Let Young Children Use Them: This may make you seem like a downer, but it is for your child’s safety. Even sparklers can burn up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Sparklers accounted for nearly 1,200 injuries in 2017. If older children are permitted to use fireworks, ensure that they are being supervised by an adult.
  • Keep a Bucket of Water Near: This is a safety precaution that, hopefully, you should never need. This is in case a firework fails to ignite, causes a fire, or even explodes.
  • Never Pick Up a “Dud”: Just because a firework has not gone off does not mean it can’t still be dangerous. They can still often explode. Dump water on it and dispose of it safely.
  • Stay a Safe Distance Away: If you are handling fireworks, never put any part of your body over a firework while lighting. If you are a spectator, a good rule of them is to remain 500 feet away from the firework.

For those handling fireworks, it is important to always wash your hands before touching your eyes. The chemicals used in fireworks can cause harm to your eyes.

In the Event of an Accident

If an accident does happen, you should do whatever you can to minimize the damage done to your eye. If an accident occurs:

  • Do not rub the eye.
  • Do not attempt to rinse out the eye.
  • Do not apply pressure to the eye.
  • Do not apply medicine or ointments.
  • Immediately go to an emergency room.

Sometimes it is best to let a professional set off fireworks while you enjoy them from a safe distance. However, many people enjoy lighting their own, which is understandable. If you do intend on having your own firework show, you should always consider the safety of yourself and others. First Eye Care North Arlington is staffed with a team of eye care experts who have the well-being of your eyes and vision in mind.

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