Fireworks Eye Safety
July 4th is almost upon us! While we all are excited for the festivities of this holiday, unfortunately every year about 10,000 people are rushed to the hospital due to firework related injuries according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). Recently the AAO also shared a story about Firefighter Jay Northup who suffered life-threatening injuries during his fireworks celebration after a malfunctioning firework exploded in his face.
The 2016 Annual Fireworks Report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission showed in 2016 of the 10,000 visits to the emergency room, about 9,000 were from eye injuries. These injuries can range from burns, corneal abrasions, retinal detachments, as well as globe ruptures (when the outer membranes of the eye is disrupted by trauma) and often affect bystanders as well as those handling the fireworks. The majority of these injuries are caused by legal fireworks such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles.
While Jay was able to return to work as a firefighter, he suffered permanent damage to pupil and it can no longer accommodate to lighting conditions. Accidents like this can be avoided. Although we recommend leaving the firework show to the professionals, if you choose to set off your own fireworks you can avoid eye injuries by:
- Wear proper eye protection and ensure bystanders do the same
- Never let children use fireworks without close adult supervision
- Do not try to reignite duds or used fireworks
- Have a hose or bucket of water on hand for any duds or misfires
- Do not light fireworks if wind is heavy
In Case of an Injury
Even with the best of intentions, accidents still happen. Our providers at Ludwick Eye Center are on call 24/7 and ready to assist with any eye injuries that may occur. In the case of an injury:
- Seek medical attention immediately
- Do not flush the injured eye with water or apply any ointment
- Do not rub or apply pressure to the injured area
This Fourth of July, take precaution to prevent eye injuries! We wish you and your family a safe and thankful Independence Day!
~The Ludwick Eye Center Team