July 4TH Fireworks Eye Safety

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 4TH Fireworks Eye Safety

The July 4th holiday is a great time to celebrate and enjoy family, friends and fireworks. The important consideration to note is “enjoy fireworks”. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year there are more than 9,000 fireworks injuries with 1 in 8 being fireworks eye injuries including burns, lacerations, abrasions, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and even ruptured eyeballs. These injuries often affect bystanders in 50% of the cases and not just those using the fireworks. More troubling is that children are frequently injured with some 30% of those experiencing a fireworks injury around the 4th of July actually being under age 15.


So, fireworks should not be thought of as toys, but devices that can cause third degree burns and everyone who wishes to enjoy them should be vigilant and take precautions to avoid the risk of serious eye injury.

Fireworks Safety Tips
The best advice to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional public fireworks show rather than purchasing fireworks for home use. For those who attend professional fireworks displays and/or live in communities surrounding the shows there are some common sense tips to enjoy the show and avoid eye injury:
  • Respect safety barriers at fireworks shows and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
  • Do not touch unexploded fireworks but instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.

If however you live in state where it is legal to purchase and display your own fireworks, please consider the following suggestions:
  • Never let children play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers.
  • Adults handling fireworks as well as bystanders should always wear proper protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute.
  • Leave the lighting of professional grade fireworks to trained pyrotechnicians. 

What to Do If You Have a Fireworks Eye Injury
In the event you or someone around you does experience a fireworks eye injury you should seek immediate medical attention and do not rub, rinse or apply pressure to your eyes. Do not attempt to remove anything from your eyes and please do not take ANY medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen that might thin your blood.

If you or someone you know suffers a fireworks eye injury take them to the emergency room at once and ask the doctor to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937 as we always have a member of our medical staff on call.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about fireworks eye safety please contact Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.