Don’t Set Fire To Your Eyes: Fireworks Safety

In the United States alone, thousands of people from children to adults suffer eye injuries because of fireworks-related accidents each year. While the severity of the injuries range from mild to severe, these shouldn’t be taken lightly because of the risks for blindness.

Unfortunately, many of the people injured by fireworks weren’t handling the fireworks themselves. Of the thousands injured each year, most of whom will require emergency medical treatment, half of them were bystanders with children being the frequent victims – more than a third of the people injured are 15 years old and under.

Watch But Don’t Handle

There’s a good reason why fireworks for home use are banned in most states – these are explosives that can inflict damage on property and people including their limbs and lives. Pyrotechnicians, professionals who have the training, tools and technologies in safely handling fireworks, should be the only ones who can handle, set up, and set off fireworks especially on a larger scale. Better yet, just avoid handling fireworks since even a single misstep can set off a fire, cause personal injury, and other damages.  

You and your family and friends are better off watching professional fireworks displays, which are usually seen during national and local holidays (e.g., Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve) as well as in theme parks like Disneyworld. But even in these occasions, you should still adopt safety measures to reduce the risks of injuries.  

  • Respect the safety barriers set up by the pyrotechnicians since these are installed for spectator safety. View the fireworks display at least 500 feet away.  
  • Call the local police or fire department in case you come across unexploded fireworks – never touch them since these can accidentally explode.
  • Never let young kids handle and play with any kind of fireworks, even sparklers and even with adult supervision, because accidents can still happen.   

It also pays to remember that fireworks are meant to be enjoyed by the eyes.

What to Do in Case of Injury

But there will be times when accidents happen so keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid rubbing, rinsing with water, and applying pressure on the eyes.
  • Avoid applying ointments and removing objects stuck in the eyes.
  • Seek medical attention in the emergency room immediately.  

Otherwise, you will be worsening your eye injury. You should also follow your eye doctor’s recommendations about maintaining good eye health after the injury has healed, such as changing your eyeglasses at Target.

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