The 4th of July has become synonymous with fireworks. While fireworks are beautiful to watch, they can also be very dangerous.
Fireworks caused an estimated 11,500 injuries in 2021. Fourteen percent of those injuries were eye injuries, which can result in permanent vision loss in one or both eyes. Even sparklers can be dangerous, burning at more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here are some safety tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology to avoid fireworks-related eye injuries:
- View professional fireworks displays from at least 500 feet away
- Wear protective eyewear
- Never let children play with any type of fireworks, including sparklers
If you experience a fireworks-related eye injury, seek medical attention immediately and:
- Do not rub or rinse the eyes
- Do not apply pressure to the eyes
- Do not remove any objects from the eye
- Do not apply ointments
- Do not take blood-thinning medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen unless directed by a doctor.
It’s always a good idea to leave the fireworks to the professionals as you celebrate our nation’s independence. If you light fireworks, follow all state and local laws and fireworks instructions and wear protective eyewear.