It's the height of summer, and the Fourth of July is just around the corner. It's difficult not to appreciate a holiday that includes parades, barbecuing on the patio, and spending time outside. The best part of the day, in most people's opinion, does not begin until the sun sets. There is nothing more pleasurable than seeing fireworks in the evening.
There’s a reason that the American Academy of Ophthalmology designates every June as Eye-Safety month. While the large firework displays typically viewed from city parks or sports stadiums require special permits to ensure public safety, at-home fireworks can pose significant hazards. Fireworks are involved in more than 9,000 injuries a year, many of them sustained by children. If at-home fireworks are part of your Independence Day celebration, please take special care to protect yourself, your friends, and your family!
The majority of incidents have one thing in common: adequate safety precautions were not taken. The following recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology would prevent most Fourth of July incidents, although they are frequently disregarded:
- Never let children play with fireworks.
- View fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
- Only trained professionals should light fireworks.
- Don’t touch any unexploded fireworks remains. Instead, notify the fire or police department.
It's just as vital to know what to do if you or a loved one experiences an eye injury from fireworks as it is to know how to prevent harm from explosives. Keep these principles in mind when you go to seek medical assistance.
- Do not attempt to rinse out the eye.
- Do not apply pressure to the eye itself.
- Do not stop for medicine.
- Do not apply ointment.