Keeping Your Eyes Safe From Fireworks on Independence Day
Independence Day and the start of summer means fireworks season. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks send over 10,000 people to the emergency room each year, and eye injuries make up a serious portion of those injuries.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that in and around the Fourth of July, fireworks-related eye injuries rise, and incidences are growing. So what can be done to prevent eye injuries from fireworks? Read on to find out how best to protect your eyes, and the eyes of your children from fireworks accidents this Independence Day.
Avoiding Exposure to Fireworks Entirely?
One step can be to avoid consumer fireworks entirely. According to Dr. Fasika Woreta of the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, consumer-grade fireworks, even though legal, are not at all safe for eyes, potentially causing serious eye injuries as severe as blindness.
If you’re going to use fireworks, use them as safely as possible, and that includes being careful about bystanders, and using caution when you are a bystander, yourself. If you’re watching fireworks or around anyone using fireworks, be sure to stand well out of the firing line. Nearly half of those injured by fireworks are bystanders, with one in six subjected to severe vision loss as a result.
Treat all fireworks as potentially dangerous, even if they are quite small or “duds,” fireworks that you expected to explode but did not. Never handle unexploded fireworks once launched and always keep fireworks away from eyes at all times.
Keeping Fireworks Away From Children
Do not allow children to handle fireworks, ever. What may seem like a few minutes of innocent fun can result in a lifetime of tragedy. Again, the best way to enjoy fireworks is via a professional fireworks display. There is really no safe way for any non-professional to handle or use fireworks, especially children.
If you are watching a fireworks display, especially if it is an up-close or a non-professional display (not recommended), it cannot hurt to wear eye protection, such as goggles or at least sunglasses. It may feel a little unusual, but it could save your eyesight in an emergency.
If Your Eye Becomes Injured From Fireworks…
If you or your child sustains an eye injury due to fireworks, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Do not rub the eye, flush the eye or apply pressure. Do not stop to take or give your child pain reliever or to apply ointment.
Any contact with your eye could exacerbate the problem. Cover the eye with a Styrofoam or paper cup so that nothing comes in contact with it and get to the emergency room as soon as possible.
General Eye Health Tips on the 4th of July
While fireworks can present a particular danger when it comes to your eyes, you should always be on the lookout for potential eye injury situations. We take our eyesight for granted, but it is extremely difficult to live without it.
Another way to protect your eyes is through regular eye examinations and getting any necessary care for your eyes as soon as possible. In the Portland area, you can enjoy top-quality eye examinations and eye care from the friendly, experienced professionals at Beaumont Vision.
Call us at 503-331-3937 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.