Fireworks and Eye Safety

Fireworks and Eye Safety

Keep your July 4th celebrations risk-free with the following tips.

The Fourth of July is almost here, and one of the most popular activities to celebrate American independence is igniting fireworks. Although fireworks are exciting to look at, their explosive and chemical properties pose serious risks to your eyes if they are mishandled. If you plan on operating or even being near fireworks, then consider the following safety tips so your holiday doesn’t include a trip to the ER.

Wear Protective Eyewear
Lighting fireworks that require direct contact creates the potential for severe eye injuries, such as burns, scratches, and stabs. Luckily, these injuries are easy to avoid. Anyone who ignites fireworks or is near fireworks should wear a pair of safety glasses or goggles to prevent such serious injuries from occurring.

Keep Your Distance
The relative safety of fireworks compared to other pyrotechnic devices can make some people forget just how dangerous they can be. The closer you are to fireworks being set off, the higher the likelihood of harmful flames and chemicals reaching your eyes. When lighting fireworks, stay as far away as possible and gain as much distance as you can after ignition.

Properly Dispose of Duds
Occasionally, a firework will fail to ignite due to some internal failure. If this happens, do not immediately try to retrieve the dud, as it might set off at any time and threaten your eye health. Instead, leave the dud alone for about five minutes before dousing it with water. Afterwards, you may trash the item using the disposal techniques provided by the manufacturer.

Avoid Metal/Glass Containers
Do not discharge fireworks from metal or glass containers, as this could cause a dangerous explosion of fragments that could strike you and other nearby people in your eyes and other parts of your body. Fireworks already produce shrapnel, so going out of your way to produce more only increases the risk of injury.

Don’t Touch An Injured Eye
In the event that any material gets into your eye, do not touch, rinse, or try to apply medicine to the affected area. Any unsupervised attempts at treatment may only make the injury worse. Instead, seek medical attention by either calling 911 or having someone you know take you to the nearest hospital.

Fireworks are a wonderful spectacle and a staple of July 4th, but they should be enjoyed with the precautions necessary to avoid getting hurt and to protect your valuable eyesight. Keeping our patients well-informed is a primary goal at Sterling Vision, and we love having the opportunity to help you be more proactive in preserving your vision. To schedule an appointment with us, call 541-262-0597 or schedule online.