Fireworks are a July 4th Staple, but They’re Still Dangerous
The Fourth of July is one of the most anticipated holidays every summer. The day is full of parades, parties, grilling, and fireworks. While all of these have become staples for our country’s Independence Day, they are not always the safest. Fireworks are one of the most dangerous activities you can engage in this holiday season. Even though the window to shoot fireworks is a small one, it still leads to countless injuries. One of the greatest areas of concern is the safety of your eyes.
Here at First Eye Care McKinney, we put the safety and health of your eyes as our top priority, which is why we are here to provide you with the information you should know about eye safety and fireworks.
Fireworks are explosives that are created to produce controlled bangs and bright bursts of colored light. They are composed of many chemicals and components that can be dangerous for you even when they haven’t exploded yet. Here are some statistics that are important to remember this holiday:
- In 2017, there were nearly 13,000 injuries and 8 deaths due to fireworks, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- 14% of those injuries were eye injuries.
- 36% of all injuries were in children age 15 and younger.
- 65% of all injuries were sustained by bystanders.
- Permanent eye loss happens in 1 out of every 6 cases.
- Sparklers are just as dangerous as other fireworks, heating up to about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Sparklers caused 1,200 injuries in the same reports done by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Fireworks may be exciting and fun to watch, but they also present some dangers for many involved, whether those handling them or just watching. Bystanders are more at risk of suffering injuries than those who are actually handling them. Eye injuries suffered from fireworks include:
Tips to Protect Your Eyes
For those who intend on enjoying the show of fireworks this July 4th, it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure that your eyes do not suffer any harm. Here are a few tips you can use this holiday:
- Always Wear Eye Protection: It does not matter whether you are shooting fireworks yourself or merely just watching them. You should always wear eye protection when near them.
- Keep a Safe Distance: Fireworks create a large explosion that can be dangerous. Always keep any part of your body away from a firework when lighting them. A safe distance to keep is 500 feet away.
- Never Pick Up a “Dud”: Even if a firework fails to go off after it has been lit does not mean it is still not dangerous. The potential for explosion still remains. Treat it as a live firework. Pour a bucket of water on it and safely dispose of it or, even better, contact your local fire department to dispose of it.
- Keep Water Nearby: When you are dealing with explosives, accidents can always happen. Keeping water nearby can help if a firework fails to ignite, sets something on fire, or explodes abnormally.
- Never Allow Children to Use Them: As mentioned previously, children make up a large part of the injuries suffered on July 4th. It is best to not allow them to use them, including sparklers. Older children may use them but must be overseen by adult supervision.
If you do intend on handling fireworks, always wash your hands follow use before touching your eyes. The chemicals in fireworks can hurt your eyes.
What to Do in an Accident
Unfortunately, accidents do happen. If you are involved in one, you should do whatever you can to minimize the damage done to your eyes. Here are some tips to help:
- Do not rub your eyes.
- Do not attempt to rinse out your eyes.
- Do not apply pressure to your eyes.
- Do not apply medicine or ointments.
- Immediately go to an emergency room.
The Fourth of July can always be celebrated without the use of fireworks. However, if you do wish to celebrate with them, it is best to let a professional do the work while you sit back and enjoy the show. First Eye Care McKinney cares about the health and safety of your eyes, which is why we provided you with these tips and information to help you this holiday.