Fireworks Safety Tips

Monday, July 3rd, 2017, 2:04 pm

Fireworks are a visual treat for the eyes, but without proper safety precautions, they can also cause severe damage to your vision.

Thousands of people are admitted to the emergency room each year with firework-related eye injuries, many of them children. In severe cases, fireworks can rupture the globe of the eye, cause chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachment that can result in permanent vision impairment or loss.

Here are five ways to help you and your family stay safe this Fourth of July:

1. Attend a public fireworks display. Why not take the night off? Public fireworks displays allow you to enjoy professional-level pyrotechnics while maintaining a safe distance. Just make sure you adhere to the event’s safety guidelines and keep at least 500 feet from the display.
2. Wear protective eyewear. If you do decide to shoot off your own fireworks, provide protective eyewear for bystanders—and especially the person lighting the fireworks—to prevent sparks or stray debris from hitting the eye.
3. Don’t touch unexploded fireworks. No one likes a dud, but resist the urge to investigate an unexploded firework and instead contact your local fire or police department for assistance.
4. Keep the children away. They may look like toys, but young children should never play with fireworks of any kind. Even fireworks advertised as kid-friendly, such as sparklers, should not be held by children under the age of 5.
5. If you are injured, keep your hands off. If you do sustain an injury from a firework, seek medical attention immediately and do not rub, rinse or apply pressure to your eyes. Do not try to remove the debris or apply ointments or medications.

The Fourth of July is a time for celebration. With these safety precautions in mind, you can help ensure that you and your family can enjoy the spectacle for years to come.

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