Firework Eye Safety
A firework is a substance full of gunpowder and excitable chemicals that explode when exposed to fire. Fireworks are fun and beautiful to watch, but they can also be dangerous. They are very popular around the 4th of July and the new year. They are even shot throughout the year for celebrations or even gender reveals. Safety should be priority when firing or even just watching fireworks.
When Fireworks Go Wrong
In the year of 2021 there were a reported 9 deaths and 11,500 injuries from fireworks. Out of the 11,500 injuries 20-30% were related to the eye. As we all know good in well, things do have a tendency of going wrong. With that being said fireworks are fun but can also be extremely dangerous, even deadly. Fireworks can misfire and as a result harm you or by standers. A misfire will happen when the firework is shot, but goes in the opposite direction as intended for it to go. Handling the firework in the wrong angle has emerged the firework to shoot in the wrong direction, or even at yourself. These common and simple mistakes have led to death for the audience and users. There will always be flaws in explosives and equipment. No matter how careful you are, these flaws in explosives are very common in fireworks, which makes them one of the leading causes of deaths and injuries each year. Listed below are some firework safety tips provided by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Firework Safety Tips:
- Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
- Make sure the fireworks you are buying are legal.
- In case of a fire or misfire, keep a water hose nearby.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move away as quick as possible.
- Never Ever try to re light or pick up a firework that has not fully ignited.
- Never use or handle fireworks while impaired or on drugs.
- Designate a safety perimeter.
- Always supervise children while around fireworks.
- Wait for appropriate weather conditions.
- Choose the right location and properly dispose of fireworks.
Eye Injuries Related to Fireworks
Eye injuries are very common when handling or watching fireworks. It is said that 20-30% of all injuries related to fireworks are in the eye. What can a firework do to your eye? It can rupture your globe, cause chemical burns, corneal abrasion and even retinal detachments. All of these injuries could possibly lead to permanent vision loss or blindness. The most common group of people who report with these types of injuries include young adults and children. Children aging between 15 and under are reported to make up one third of the population to account for these injuries.
Sparklers are very popular. These are very popular with young children and a favorite used as a wedding send off. These too can also be very dangerous. Children using sparklers should be supervised at all times. Sparklers burn at over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. When using sparklers it is very important to point them away from you and others. It is also very important to hold them away from your body. If held to close, the sparks would have a better chance of reaching your face including your eyes.
Treatment For Eye Injuries Related to Fireworks
An injury related to fireworks is considered to be a medical emergency. Seek help immediately and call 911. While you are awaiting medical care it is very important that you DO NOT do the following things: do not rub your eyes, do not rinse your eyes, do not apply pressure to the eye, do not attempt to remove any objects that may be stuck in your eye, do not apply ointments or take any blood thinning medications unless directed by your doctor. These recommendations were made by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Seek medical care immediately following your injury to seek care by a medical professional. If you have a retinal injury, we are here for you. Our office will be closed on Monday January 1st, but we will have a doctor on call to help you.
Happy New Year, Have Fun and Be Safe!
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a professional firework show. These shows will designate safety barriers for spectators. Always to remember to respect the safety barriers and stay at least 500 feet away from where the fireworks are ignited. If you choose to purchase fireworks for your home always remember the safety tips listed above and make sure the fireworks you are purchasing are legal. We hope everyone has a fun, happy and safe holiday!