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Fireworks Eye Safety Dos and Don’ts

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, many people are looking forward to celebrating with fireworks. Every year, Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars on fireworks, whether for the Fourth, New Year’s Eve, a wedding, or many other reasons.

Unfortunately, fireworks also cause over 9,000 injuries annually, many of which are related to the eye. It is vital to keep the safety of this vulnerable part of your body in mind every day, but especially in the presence of these incendiary devices.

Keep reading for the dos and don’ts of fireworks eye safety.

Do: Opt for a Professional Show Rather Than At-Home Fireworks

When it comes to these dangerous devices, it is best to leave them to professionals. From chemical burns to retinal detachment, fireworks can permanently damage your vision when mishandled.

They are not just bright bursts of color: they are devices containing explosives and combustibles. It is not worth the risk to attempt an at-home fireworks display if attending an expert-led show is a much safer option.

Don’t: Disregard Safety Instructions for a Better View

Barriers exist for a reason. When you decide to disobey official instructions at a public show, you put your eyes and your entire life at risk.

A firework is a kind of explosion that can cause great harm if you are standing too close. To ensure your safety, it is recommended that you view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.

Always follow all directions from officials.

Do: Contact Your Local Fire or Police Department if You Find Unexploded Fireworks

You may come across unexploded fireworks in the area around a show or in your yard if fireworks have been set off nearby. Do not attempt to dispose of these yourself.

While reaching down to secure them, they can go off in your face. If you find fallen, unused fireworks, contact your local fire or police department so they can remove them safely. 

Don’t: Allow Children to Play With Fireworks

Fireworks are not toys. While it may seem relatively harmless, a sparkler burns at more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

They are also the second-leading cause of firework-related emergency room trips. Do not allow children to run around with handheld fireworks or play around with them.

If you have such fireworks at your home, ensure they are stored in a secured area where children cannot access them.

Do: Wear Protective Eye Gear

If you decide to set off legal, consumer-grade fireworks, protect your eyes at all times. In the event of an accident, you do not want to leave your eyes exposed.

Fireworks can also produce debris as they go off. Safety goggles can stop this from entering your eye and causing irritation.

Don’t: Wait to Seek Help if an Injury Occurs

No matter how minor it may seem, do not wait to find help if you sustain an eye injury, or any other type of injury, due to a firework-related accident. Seek medical attention immediately.

Early intervention will give you the best chances of recovery and avoiding permanent damage. 

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