Everyone’s favorite summer holiday is just around the corner as the United States gets ready to celebrate another birthday on the Fourth of July. One of the most traditional ways to celebrate Independence Day is with fireworks. You’ve probably already noticed the stands popping up just outside the city limits. Fireworks are fun but they can also be dangerous. In 2019, emergency rooms in the U.S. treated an estimated 10,000 firework-related injuries. Fifteen percent of these injuries were eye injuries.
Safety Tips for Your Independence Day Firework Fun
Berkeley Eye Center wants everyone to have a fun, safe Fourth of July. We recommend not buying and using fireworks at home, and instead attending a public fireworks display. However, if you are going to hit the fireworks stand, we’d like to share a few safety tips to prevent your celebration from ending up in a trip to the emergency room:
- Always wear protective eyewear.
- Make sure no portion of your body is directly over a firework while lighting it.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks. Many Fourth of July eye injuries happen to innocent bystanders. If you’re not a participant, stay at least 500 feet away from any firework celebration
- Supervise older children when they use fireworks. Don’t allow young children to handle any fireworks. Even “harmless” fireworks like sparklers can cause burns and eye injuries if not handled properly.
- Don’t touch or try to light any unexploded fireworks.
- Don’t engage in running or horseplay while setting off fireworks.
- Avoid setting off fireworks around houses, dry leaves, or grass and other flammable materials.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies.
- Never light fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
- Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.
What to Do If You Suffer a Firework-related Eye Injury
Blunt force trauma, heat burns and chemical exposure are just a few of the injuries that can be caused by fireworks. If you suffer an injury due to fireworks, especially to your eyes, seek emergency medical help immediately.
- Try to remove any objects lodged in your eye.
- Apply pressure to your eyes.
- Use ointments on your eyes.
- Take any blood thinning pain medications like aspirin or ibuprofen without a doctor’s permission.
- Rub your eyes.
- Rinse your eyes with water.
You’ll Want to Protect Your Eyes During the Day as Well
Most Independence Day firework celebrations take place after dark. However, there’s another hazard to your vision during the daytime celebrations — and that’s the sun. If you’re enjoying the holidays outdoors, make sure to wear sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun’s harsh ultraviolet radiation.
By observing a few safety rules and using a little common sense, your Fourth of July fireworks celebration can be a fun event for the whole family.
Leading Houston Eye Doctors Help with Eye Injuries
Berkeley Eye Center has been protecting and preserving the vision health of Houstonians for over 60 years. Our eye specialists are leaders in their field. If you suffer an eye injury, we urge you to call Berkeley Eye Center. We have locations conveniently located all over Houston and surrounding communities like Katy, Tomball, Kingwood and Pearland.