The Fourth of July is nearing and that means fireworks for many families. July is also Eye Injury Prevention Month. Both are great reminders that 70 percent of all eye injuries occur from flying objects.
Think of jobs where eye injuries are most likely to occur: construction work, power tools, gardening devices and more. Impact resistant lenses are common safety devices to protect the eyes. But many of us don’t think about the danger of fireworks.
More than 11,400 injuries requiring treatment in emergency rooms, were caused by fireworks in the United States according to the most recent fireworks injury report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. An estimated 1 in 6 of those fireworks injuries harmed the eyes of an individual.
Sadly, those injured by fireworks are not necessarily handling the explosives themselves. In fact, nearly half of people injured by fireworks are bystanders, according to an international study. Children are frequent victims: 40 percent who sustained a fireworks injury near the Fourth of July holiday are age 15 and under, according to the commission’s report.
To help ensure that your friends and family have a safe and happy 4th of July holiday, here are a few firework eye safety tips from the American Optometric Association and Prevent Blindness.
- Discuss fireworks safety with children
- Do not leave children unsupervised around fireworks
- Wear protective eyewear when lighting and handling fireworks
- If fireworks burn your child’s eye, do not rub it, this may increase bleeding or make the injury worse
- If fireworks burn your child’s eye, do not attempt to rinse out the eye
- Sparklers can heat up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter and are the top causes of trips to the emergency room – be careful when handling
For more information about preventing eye injuries from Visionworks’ own Dr. Florian Safner visit: http://www.visionworks.com/eye-health/articles/article-eye-injuries.php.