Did you know that fireworks cause 2,000 eye injuries every year? According to a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, during the 19-year study period, fireworks caused more than 34,000 ocular injuries, and the most common injury was an ocular burn.
We are on the heels of Memorial Day as the first holiday to start the upcoming summer celebrations. These celebrations are the perfect time for family barbecues and outdoor fun that might include fireworks. Eye injuries from fireworks can be especially severe because of the combination of force, heat, and chemicals. Following simple safety tips can help make a safe and fun celebration experience.
Fireworks Safety Tips
- Know your local laws.
- Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
- Don’t buy fireworks packaged in brown paper – these are to be handled by professionals.
- Light fireworks in an open area, and ensure a clear place away from cars and buildings.
- Never let children handle sparklers.
- Keep pets inside.
- Never re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose nearby in case of fire or other mishaps.
- Only light fireworks on flat ground, away from flammable materials, and only in a dry fire-resistant area.
- When you are done, spray all fireworks or sparklers with water.
Typical Eye Injuries From Fireworks
- Scratches on Cornea
- Ruptured Eyeball
- Detached Retina
Types Of Fireworks Most Linked to Injuries
- Bottle Rockets
**Sparklers seem like harmless fun, but they are responsible for about 1,400 eye injuries yearly.
What Should You Do For a Fireworks Eye Injury?
Fireworks-related eye injuries can combine heat, blunt force trauma, and chemical exposure burns. This specific type of injury is considered a medical emergency if an eye injury from fireworks happens.
- Seek medical attention immediately.
- Do not rub your eyes.
- Do not rinse your eyes.
- Do not apply pressure.
- Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.
- Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen unless directed by a doctor.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Fireworks start over 19,000 fires and send over 9,000 people to the emergency room annually in the United States. Don’t be a statistic; apply the safety tips for a safe holiday!
We honor our troops and their families this Memorial Day!
Please stay safe and enjoy the festivities.
References: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Optometric Association, JAMA Ophthalmology, and National Fire Protection Association
The content is researched and vetted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. American Optometric Association, and Prevent Blindness. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided within this blog and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.