Why You Need To Be Careful Around Fireworks This Summer

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on July 28, 2021

Mother and child holding sparklers

Watching fireworks is a beautiful way to celebrate summer, holidays, and reuniting with loved ones. But if they aren’t correctly handled, fireworks can become dangerous.

Keep reading for information on fireworks and eye safety to ensure you can enjoy them for years to come!

Eye Injuries Related To Fireworks

Fireworks cause around 9,000 injuries per year. Nearly one-fifth of them involve eyes. These explosives can cause blindness.

Sparks, fire, chemicals, and shrapnel from explosives could permanently damage your sight. Fireworks could even singe your eyelashes and eyebrows. This damage can prevent these fine hairs from protecting your eyes from debris.

You don’t have to be the one lighting the fireworks to get hurt from them. Being around them while they’re going off can also be dangerous.

Many people think smaller fireworks like poppers and sparklers are harmless. However, sparklers can burn up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. They can cause vision loss if a spark touches the eye and may burn your skin or clothes.

Preventing Firework Injuries

Always follow local and federal rules around fireworks. To keep everyone safe, store personal pyrotechnic devices out of reach of children. Do not let children play with fireworks.

Don’t buy fireworks that are wrapped in brown paper. The Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that this wrapping often indicates the pyrotechnics are meant for professional use.

Read the directions on individual fireworks. Follow the recommendations on how far away to stand from the blast. Never aim them at people, no matter the size or expected noise levels.

Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or on your person. Light them in an area with a low chance of a fire occurring.  Have a fire extinguisher on hand in case of emergency.

Wear goggles when lighting pyrotechnics. Do not assume smaller fireworks like sparklers or firecrackers are safe. Always supervise young people when using these recreational explosives.

Light one firework at a time and immediately move away. Never stand above or next to a lit firework.

Place spent explosives in a bucket of water once they are no longer smoking. Dousing them limits the likelihood of starting a fire.

If you have any doubt about lighting fireworks, leave it up to professionals. Light shows led by pyrotechnic experts have experienced people lighting the fireworks and firefighters on hand to ensure safety.

What To Do If You Have a Firework Injury

Go to an emergency room immediately if you experience an injury from a firework. The faster you get to the hospital, the greater your chances of recovery.

Avoid rubbing your eyes or flushing them with water. Rubbing could scratch the eye surface. Exposure to moisture may cause further harm to the eye. If necessary, tape or hold a cup over the eye to prevent the injured person from touching the area.

Don’t take over-the-counter painkillers. These medications won’t take effect quickly enough to make a difference. Plus, they could cause problems with medications recommended by the emergency staff once you arrive at a hospital.

Do not touch the affected eye or eyelid. Your hands are likely not to be sterile and could increase your chances of infection.

Are you looking to keep your eyes safe this summer? Start with an appointment at Missouri Eye Institute in Joplin, MO, today!

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