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Posted on 07-06-2016

July is Fireworks Eye Safety Month!

Sponsored and supported by Prevent Blindness America and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Fireworks Eye Safety Month urges everyone to remain aware of the dangers posed by fireworks to vision and eye health. From smoke bombs and sparklers to bottle rocks and spectacular "artillery shells", fireworks can quickly and easily cause severe burns, hearing loss and eye injuries that could lead to permanent vision loss.Fireworks in Kennesaw

Facts about Fireworks Injuries

According to Prevent Blindness:

  • Nearly 7000 fireworks injuries were treated last year by emergency room physicians between June 20 and July 20. 
  • About 19 percent (1200) of those 7000 fireworks-related injuries happened to the eyes. Sparklers and firecrackers caused 1400 eye injuries while bottle rockets were blamed for 100 eye injuries.
  • Men were the most likely to seek emergency treatment for an eye injury due to fireworks (74 percent)
  • 40 percent of all fireworks injuries impact children under five years old
  • Bystanders, not fireworks handlers, are more likely to be hit by fireworks or fireworks debris
  • Removal of foreign bodies, lacerations and contusions were the most commonly treated types of eye injuries due to fireworks

What Should Be Done for a Fireworks Eye Injury?

If something enters your eye from a fireworks display, don't rub your eye, apply pressure or rinse your eye. Instead, seek emergency attention from an ophthalmologist or emergency room doctor.  Don't put eye drops or ointment in the affect eye, either. This may worsen the injury  or promote infection if the eye has sustained a laceration.

Corneal abrasions caused by materials ejected by explosive fireworks represent the most commonly seen fireworks eye injury.  Treatment for corneal abrasions consists of antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection and medicated eye drops to relieve inflammation and pain. If the corneal scratch is severe enough, an eye patch may need to be worn over the eye for several days.

Fireworks safety tips From Our Kennesaw Optometrist 

The best way to avoid fireworks eye injuries is to attend a public fireworks display managed by your local fire department instead of purchasing fireworks to set off at home.  When you attend outdoor fireworks shows, always remain behind safety barriers and never touch or approach unexploded fireworks.

If you do buy fireworks, never let children under 10 play with sparklers, smoke bombs or any other fireworks. People responsible for setting off fireworks should wear appropriately protective eyewear that covers each eye. Never attempt to relight or pick up fireworks that did not fully ignite. Keep a running garden hose or big bucket of water handy in case of a fire emergency. Finally, never place fireworks in glass or metal containers. These containers could easily explode and send sharp pieces of shrapnel flying through the air.

For more information about your vision and fireworks safety, please call or visit Hobson Eye Associates located in Kennesaw today at 770-424-2020.

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