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10,000 reasons to leave fireworks to the professionals

Posted By Chet Seward, Friday, June 7, 2019

Every year, about 10,000 people are rushed to the emergency department for fireworks injuries. Many people believe that consumer fireworks are safe. But here’s the explosive truth: Most injuries are caused by legal fireworks parents buy for their children, such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles. To help reduce the number of potentially blinding fireworks accidents this holiday, CSEPS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology encourage you to sharing these tips with your patients:

  • Wear protective eyewear when igniting fireworks: Ophthalmologists recommend that every household have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear. Stop by any hardware store and pick up some safety glasses for the entire family. 
  • Don’t pick up duds and misfires: When a lit firework didn’t explode, Javonte McNair, 14, walked over and picked it up. The “dud” exploded, severing his hand and blasting hot debris into his eye, causing severe damage to his cornea. Keep a hose and buckets of water on hand for duds and misfires. Soak the dud from a distance with a hose or a bucket of water. Pick it up with a shovel and fully submerge it in a bucket of water to ensure it’s safe for disposal. 
  • Keep a safe distance: Bystanders are injured by fireworks as often as the operator. Stacy Young was 100 yards away when an illegal firework sent shrapnel into her skull. Ophthalmologists couldn’t save her eye. It had to be removed. 
  • Supervise children closely: Sparklers seem like harmless fun for the kids, but they are responsible for about 1,400 eye injuries each year. Even those tiny poppers or snappers can pose dangers. A ricocheting popper burned parts of five-year-old Nolan Haney’seye and eyelid
  • Celebrate with the pros: The Fourth can be complete without using consumer fireworks. The Academy and CSEPS advise that the safest way to view fireworks is to watch a professional show.

To learn more ways to keep your eyes healthy, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.

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