The American Academy of Ophthalmology urges the use of protective eyewear when using consumer fireworks. According to the latest U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission report on fireworks injuries, more than 11,000 injuries occurred in 2013, with 1 in 6 fireworks injuries damaging the eyes. The most severe injuries include ruptured eyeballs, chemical and thermal burns and corneal abrasions, all of which can permanently impact a person’s vision. Some hospitals have started keeping an operating room open on call just to treat Fourth of July fireworks eye injuries.
The safest way to avoid injury, according to the Academy, is to attend a professional display rather than using fireworks at home. Those of you who still choose to use consumer fireworks should never allow young children to handle them. People handling fireworks or standing near fireworks should always use protective eyewear!
If an eye inury from fireworks occurs, seek medical attention immediately and follow these guidelines:
-Do not rub, rinse, or apply pressure to your eyes.
-Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.
-Do not apply ointments or take any blood thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
For more information, visit www.aao.org.