As the Fourth of July approaches, many of us eagerly anticipate the vibrant fireworks displays illuminating the night sky. While these dazzling spectacles are a cherished tradition, protecting your eyes from potential dangers is important.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 9,000 fireworks-related injuries occur annually in the United States, with eye injuries accounting for 30% of these cases. Alarmingly, one-fourth of eye injuries from fireworks lead to permanent blindness. The majority of victims are children, and shockingly, sparklers alone contribute to one-third of fireworks-related injuries in children under the age of five.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology provides the following recommendations to ensure a safe celebration:
- Never allow children to handle fireworks in any form.
- Maintain a safe viewing distance of at least 500 feet or a quarter of a mile for optimal safety.
- Leave the task of lighting fireworks to trained professionals.
- Follow the instructions provided by event organizers and public safety personnel.
- Respect safety barriers established to protect pyrotechnicians during their work.
- If you encounter unexploded fireworks, do not touch them; promptly contact your local fire or police department.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you sustain an eye injury from fireworks.
If you decide to set off fireworks yourself, take extra precautions and ensure that you adhere to all safety guidelines. Protect your eyes by wearing safety goggles and maintaining a safe distance from the fireworks. Furthermore, keep children a considerable distance away from the fireworks to prevent any accidents.
Wishing you a wonderful and injury-free Fourth of July from the team at Saving Sight!