Safety Tips for 4th of July Fireworks Celebrations
The freedom we enjoy every day is something not to be taken lightly. We’d like to take a moment and recognize our service men and women as well as their families for the sacrifices they make to protect our freedom.
Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades, and fireworks. As we celebrate the 4th of July, families are planning their picnics, vacations and fireworks celebrations. 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.
According to the National Safety Council, “Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet.
The National Fire Protection Association, shares that those sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.
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.
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. Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers, or colored streamers.
- 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!
- Let the experts build and launch professional-grade fireworks.
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 injury 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. The safest way to watch fireworks is for you to let somebody else light off the fireworks. When we say someone else, we mean a professional – as in – go to a professionally sponsored fireworks show. If you have any questions or need information on eye injury following an accident, call Bissell Eye Care at (724) 444-6767 or 724-226-0444. Have a safe and happy holiday.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.