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Eye Safety

Safety First!

We’d like to take a moment and recognize our service men and women as well as their families for the sacrifices they’ve made in protecting our freedom.

As we celebrate the 4th of July, families are planning their picnics, vacations and fireworks celebrations. When you begin your search for fireworks you look for the best deals, the most spectacular displays, and the biggest bang for your buck. Many people tend to overlook safety, which can result in your holiday being much less spectacular that expected.

Did you know on average 9,000 injuries a year result from fireworks with 1 in 8 of those injuries being eye injuries according to the fireworks injury report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission? Nearly half of those injuries are bystanders with 30% of the total injuries being age 15 and under.

Some of the most commonly experienced eye injuries from fireworks are: burns, lacerations, abrasions, retinal detachment, ruptured eyeballs and optic nerve damage. An important misconception is that once the firework explodes it is no longer dangerous. However the sparks that produce the amazing glow often burn at temperatures over 1000 degrees and Fireworks release shrapnel as they explode.

As you prepare to celebrate and light off your own fireworks or watch a spectacular show put on by professionals, be sure to consider these safety tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this year:

  • Contact your local fire department if a firework does not explode to properly handle it.
  • Never let children play with fireworks. Even sparklers can be very dangerous to young children.
  • ALWAYS wear approved protective eyewear if you plan on detonating fireworks.
  • Abide by ALL safety barricades and give yourself extra room well behind them at least 500-1000 feet away!
  • Leave building and launching professional grade fireworks to the professionals.

If you are injured from fireworks be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Be sure to follow these safety tips to help prevent making the injure worse.

  • Do not remove any objects that are stuck in or protruding from your eye.
  • Do not rinse or add solution to your eye.
  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • If any foreign objects enter the eye do not take any pain killers that will cause your blood to thin such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

Remember this year as you venture out to celebrate our nation’s freedom and independence that it’s important to respect fireworks. They are not a toy and can cause serious damage to not only your eyes but also to other parts of your body. Have a safe and happy holiday.

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.