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No fireworks are safe

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, June 8, 2018

It’s the time to talk about fireworks. The fact is that no fireworks are safe. Not even “innocent” sparklers are safe.

Fireworks injuries cause approximately 10,000 visits to the emergency department each year. Most of those visits involve children who suffer thousands of eye injuries. Though the most disabling injuries occur with illegal firecrackers, most injuries are caused by legal fireworks parents buy for their children, such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles. 

Here are five fireworks facts to share with your patients:
1. Sparklers are NOT safe for young children. Sparklers burn at 1,800 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers are responsible for most of the injuries to children age 5 and younger.
2. It’s not necessarily safer to view fireworks than it is to light or throw them. Bystanders are injured by fireworks as often as fireworks operators. Eye trauma contributes to an estimated 18 percent of the total number of fireworks injuries. 
3. Consumer fireworks are not always safe. Sparklers and firecrackers each account for 1,400 injuries to the eyes. 
4. It is not safe to pick up a firework after it has been lit. Even though it looks like a dud, it may not act like one. 
5. The Fourth of July can still be a “blast” without using consumer fireworks. Avoid the risk and just watch a professional show.

To help ensure people get the facts about fireworks, the Academy also created an animated public service announcement titled “Fireworks: The Blinding Truth”. It encourages the public and media to view and share the PSA. Visit the Academy’s EyeSmart® website for more information about fireworks eye safety.

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