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Keeping your eyes safe this Fourth of July

Independence Day is upon us again and the bright sparkles and thunderous crackling of fireworks are an exciting and expected part of the celebration.

Fireworks can be a great source of family entertainment when used safely, however, it’s important to remember fireworks are inherently dangerous.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 250 people end up in the emergency room every day during the month of July, with injuries to the hands, face, legs, and eyes.

Injuries to the eyes from fireworks are known to rupture the eye, cause chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachment. Any of these injuries could potentially cause permanent eye damage and affect vision.

Fireworks Safety Tips

Although leaving the fireworks to the professionals is the safest bet, the following safety tips will help ensure you keep safe and enjoy your fireworks display:

  • Always use adult supervision and never allow children to play with, or ignite, fireworks
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks
  • Never use bottle rockets
  • Read and follow all manufacturers’ warnings and instructions
  • Keep a source of water (and a fire extinguisher), close by in case of a fire or mishap
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly
  • Never throw fireworks at another person
  • Shoot fireworks on a clean, flat surface, and away from buildings or flammable materials

What to do for a fireworks-related eye injury

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Do not rub your eyes
  • Do not rinse your eyes
  • Do not apply pressure
  • Do not remove any objects stuck in the eye
  • Do not apply any ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications (such as aspirin or ibuprophen)