The Fourth of July is coming up and most of us are looking forward to the Independence Day parades, family celebrations, backyard barbecues, and of course, fireworks.
As fun and beautiful as fireworks are, they can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, over 10,000 fireworks-related injuries were reported in 2014, 1,300 of those being eye injuries. So, whether you’re watching or using fireworks to celebrate Independence Day or simply for your own entertainment, there are precautions you should take to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
Tips On Firework Safety
It is important to note that the best way to avoid firework injuries is by leaving firework shows to trained pyrotechnicians. Attending professional public fireworks is much safer than purchasing consumer fireworks.
That being said, if you do choose to light your own fireworks, make sure you follow all local and state laws as well as firework instructions and warning labels. Protective eyewear should always be worn when handling fireworks. Onlookers should also wear eye protection as nearly half of people injured by fireworks are bystanders.
Children should never be allowed to light or play with fireworks of any type–even sparklers. Believe it or not, sparklers can reach temperatures upwards of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. They can easily ignite clothing or cause severe burns, so they’re definitely not a toy for young children!
If an eye injury does occur, seek medical attention immediately. Do not rub, rinse or apply pressure to the injured eye, or remove any objects stuck in the eye.
Know The Facts
Understanding the prevalence of fireworks-related injuries, especially eye injuries, is the first step to preventing accidents. Keep these facts in mind when using fireworks:
- One in six fireworks-related injuries results in permanent vision loss
- On average, 400 Americans lose sight in one or both eyes due to fireworks every year
- 45 percent of fireworks-related injuries occur in children under the age of 14
Keep Fireworks Fun
Unexpected injuries not only ruin celebrations, but they can also dramatically change lives. Keep fireworks fun by remembering these tips and being smart about how you use fireworks. Stay safe out there!