FIREWORKS SAFETY: AVOID EYE INJURIES
Summer is rolling right along and the 4th of July with all the celebrations and of course fireworks will be popping up everywhere. The best way to enjoy fireworks this 4th of July is to attend a professional public display. Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities offer a variety of options.
Did you know… sparklers can easily ignite clothing and generally burn at 1,200-2,000 degrees Fahrenheit — hot enough to cause third-degree burns to the skin?
Out-of-control bottle rockets are responsible for many serious eye injuries, including corneal abrasions, traumatic cataract, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage, and rupture of the eyeball – all of which can lead to potential blindness. Kids don’t often realize the hidden dangers in playing with fireworks that can lead to permanent eye damage.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology:
- Never let children play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers.
- Adults should always wear protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute if handling fireworks and ensure that all bystanders are also wearing eye protection.
- Leave the lighting of professional-grade fireworks to trained pyro-technicians.
For those who attend professional fireworks displays and/or live in communities surrounding the shows:
- Respect safety barriers at fireworks shows and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
- Do not touch unexploded display (show) fireworks; instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.
If you do experience an eye injury during a fireworks accident, seek immediate medical help.
About the author: John D. Bissell, owner of Bissell Eye Care and Tri-State Low Vision Services, offers comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family, ocular disease detection and treatment, eye glasses, sun glasses, active wear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. He has undergone specialized training for treatment of low vision by the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists utilizing customized telescopic eyeglasses, prisms and telescopic implants for patients who qualify. The practice accepts most types of vision and health insurance plans.