Who doesn’t love to celebrate Independence Day every year with their friends and family, a delicious barbecue and some sizzling fireworks? Many people have created a holiday tradition around enjoying the Fourth of July with sparklers and a spectacle of other crackling, colorful explosions in the sky. The bad news is that these fun shows often take a dangerous turn, and result in approximately 1,300 eye injuries a year (not to mention burns and other injuries).
The good news is that you can have your fireworks, and watch them too - as long as you’re smart about it. Here are some fireworks eye safety tips to help you prevent fireworks injury this year and let the good times roll.
1. Wear protective eye gear while handling fireworks.
Especially if you launch your own fireworks, eye safety is of utmost importance. Always wear safety eye glasses or goggles that are meant to withstand flying objects and high heat (your regular eyeglasses won’t provide enough protection).
2. Don't let young children play with any type of firework.
This is a big one. If you handle your own fireworks, make sure one adult is designated to watch the kids and keep them away from the firework area. Kids and fireworks never mix, even if you’re only using the ‘small’ fireworks.
3. View fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
If you simply want to be a spectator, you don’t need as many precautions in place to safely enjoy the show. But it’s very important you’re at least 500 feet away from whomever is launching the fireworks, so if anything goes awry, you’ll be too far to catch any of the debris (and in case you’re wondering how far 500 feet is, it’s roughly the length of one-and-a-half football fields).
4. If using sparklers, light one at a time and never wave or run while holding them.
Again, young children shouldn’t be given any fireworks - even sparklers. Make sure all adults and older kids who are lighting sparklers know to only light one at a time, so they don’t lose control of the sparklers. Also be clear that waving sparklers or running with them is never okay, and can result in a bad injury. The best way to enjoy sparklers is to light one at a time, and watch them do their magic while you stay in one place.
5. If you do experience eye injury, immediately seek medical attention.
Even the best eye safety measures can’t prevent every freak accident. If you do end up with any debris in your eye, burns near your eye or experience any other kind of eye injury, find medical attention immediately. If your eyes are damaged, your best odds of treating them are to do so as quickly as possible, so don’t delay.As you plan your Fourth of July holiday this year, we hope you’ll keep in mind these fireworks eye safety tips. Stay safe, and enjoy the magic. As always, please contact us to learn more or schedule an eye exam.