It’s fireworks season and the evidence is clear: fireworks are inherently dangerous. Fireworks cause eight or more deaths and thirteen thousand-plus injuries every year. And while fireworks seem like toys, and seem safe enough to be handled by everyone, they can absolutely blind you or someone you care about. Even simple-looking fireworks such as sparklers can be responsible for damage (sparklers burn at an intensely hot 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit). Fireworks are relatively safe when handled by professionals, and the community-centered fireworks shows are a good way to participate and appreciate the once-yearly spectacle.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, over fourteen percent of all fireworks injuries are eye related. Fireworks can do serious damage to the eyes; a firework can rupture the globe of the eye, cause a chemical or thermal burn, and even detach the retina and cause a corneal abrasion. And all of these injuries can be severe enough to cause vision loss and even permanent eye damage, including blindness. And the injuries are not only adults but children and teens. Children fifteen and under accounted for over one third of injuries. And the people who are injured every year by fireworks are more likely to be bystanders; sixty-five percent of all the people with yearly reported fireworks injury incurred the injury as a bystander.
Hopefully you remember the dangers of fireworks and refrain this month and next, but if you do incur a fireworks injury, especially in the eyes, seek medical help immediately. Do not rub the eye, do not apply pressure to the eye, and do not try to remove and objects that are stuck in the eye.
Keep safe this month and enjoy the upcoming Fourth of July Holiday. And if you or a loved one is ready to schedule an eye exam (summer break is an optimal time to schedule eye visits for kiddos), then call your eye doctor at Vision Optical today.