Statistics about vision accidents due to fireworks are eye opening. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, your eyes are among the six body parts harmed most frequently by fireworks and account for 9 percent of injuries.
Just one spark or piece of shrapnel from fireworks can cause blindness. Children are particularly vulnerable.
You don’t have to be the one lighting a firework to get hurt, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which says that spectators account for one-third of people injured who are admitted to hospitals. Furthermore, the AAP reports, about one-quarter of the injured are children.
The AAP notes that bottle rockets — the kind of fireworks commonly launched from bottles — are especially dangerous because their flight path is unpredictable. It adds that bottle rockets cause 60 percent of eye injuries.
However, AAP stresses that even sparklers may hurt eyes, because they burn at 2,000 degrees F, which “can result in a serious burn in an instant.” It notes that sparklers are the cause of approximately 10 percent of fireworks injuries and that two-thirds of these are among children younger than age 5.
How to Stay Safe
The vision team at Lake Lanier Eye Care wants to keep you and your family safe from all kinds of eye injuries. But during July — a time known for bang-up festivities beginning well before the Fourth and lasting beyond the holiday — we can’t help focusing on fireworks dangers.
How can you keep your eyes and those of family members safe? Perhaps the number one precaution is to limit fireworks watching to displays viewed at a distance and managed by professionals. Number two? Never allow children to play with fireworks.
However, in the case of a fireworks injury, remember these tips from Prevent Blindness:
- Don’t rub or rinse the eye
- Don’t touch the eye or apply ointment
- Go to the emergency room immediately
For comprehensive vision protection, please contact Lake Lanier Eye Care. Visit us at 1211 Bald Ridge Marina Road, Cumming, GA, Monday through Saturday.