Fireworks Eye Safety Tips for Fourth of July
Fireworks are easily the main event of any Fourth of July celebration. While these displays look beautiful in the sky, they can also represent a danger to your eyes. Over 9,100 injuries are reported every year from fireworks, with 15% of these affecting the eyes.
Continue reading to learn several eye safety tips for you and your family during this year’s celebration.
Are Firework Eye Injuries Serious?
Firework-related eye injuries are considered a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. These incidents combine blunt force trauma, extreme heat, and chemical burns.
Firework injuries can cause corneal lacerations, burns, retinal detachment, and even blindness.
How to Protect Your Eyes from Fireworks
Keep in mind that fireworks are illegal in many states, so always check your local regulations before using them. If you plan to partake in the festivities, follow these eye safety tips:
- Always wear eye safety glasses — Whether you are lighting the fireworks or just watching, be sure to wear proper eye protection. Sixty-five percent of fireworks injuries impact bystanders, not the person who ignites them. Protective eyewear should meet the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
- Light them carefully—Never position any part of your body directly over the firework when lighting it.
- Don’t allow children to play with fireworks— Over a third of all firework injuries affect children 15 or younger. Do not allow your kids to play with fireworks, even seemingly mild ones like sparklers. Sparklers can reach up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and cause severe burns.
- Stay in safe areas—Always light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from your home (and your neighbors’ homes), dry leaves and grass, and other flammable materials.
- Keep water nearby—With water on hand, you can react quickly in the event of a fire.
- Watch a professional show—The safest way to enjoy the fireworks this year is at a professional show. Make sure you set up your viewing area at least 500 feet away from the source of the fireworks and abide by all signs.
What to Do for a Fireworks Eye Injury
In the case that an eye injury occurs, head to the nearest medical facility immediately. On the way there, make sure to follow these guidelines:
- Do not rub the eye
- Do not rinse burning eyes
- Do not apply pressure to the affected eye
- Do not attempt to remove objects from the eye
- Do not apply any ointments
- Do not take pain medications or blood thinners, such as aspirin and ibuprofen
Treatment for Firework-Related Eye Injuries in Greater Dallas
In the event of an eye injury, our eye doctors in Dallas are prepared to provide swift and complete treatment for resulting complications, including corneal lacerations and burns, retinal detachment, and vision loss.
For minor abrasion or burn cases, we may provide topical pain medication in office, prescribe medications, and apply a bandage until it is healed if needed. However, for more severe injuries, we also offer a range of surgical treatment options for retinal detachment, such as cryopexy, pneumatic retinopexy, and vitrectomy.
Extreme eye injuries increase your risk for conditions like glaucoma and cataracts, so it’s important to make sure they are not developing. After your initial treatment, you will need to maintain regular eye exams with our eye care experts in cataract and LASIK surgery in greater Dallas to ensure your vision remains intact.
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