Iowa Firework Eye Safety | Wolfe Eye Clinic

June 30, 2020

Fireworks and Eye Safety

Boom! Boom! Bang! The 4th of July is fast approaching and fireworks may soon be lighting up your night sky! As many people plan their 4th of July activities, typically fireworks are on the agenda, from either watching a firework display show, or simply lighting sparklers with friends and family. However, as fun and entertaining as they are, fireworks are very dangerous and are the cause of thousands of injuries including damaged corneas, retinas and ruptured eyeballs throughout the United States every year, especially around the 4th of July. Before participating in these fun activities, it is important to be aware of your surroundings, know the safety tips and be prepared if a firework- related eye injury occurs. 

How are Fireworks Dangerous- Know the Facts

Iowa Firework Eye SafetyFireworks can malfunction and according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) it is reported that an estimated of 9,100 fireworks- related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2018.  Unfortunately, 19% of those injuries were eye related. Most eye related injuries from fireworks are from sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles.

Safety Tips in Celebrating Safely

The best way to celebrate safely and avoid an accident is by attending a professional firework display show rather than using consumer fireworks on your own. If you use fireworks on your own here are some tips to follow:

  • Always have adult supervision with fireworks.
  • Never allow children to play with any type of firework, including sparklers. (Sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit or even hotter, enough to burn certain metals) 
  • Have access to a water source nearby either a bucket of water, or a hose. 
  • Never put any type of firework in your pant pocket.
  • View fireworks from at least 500ft away.
  • Never shoot them off in a metal or glass container.

In Case of a Firework- Related Eye Injury

If you experience a firework eye injury from heat burns, blunt force trauma or chemical exposure it should be considered a medical emergency. To minimize the damage to the eye:

  • Do not rub the eye.
  • Seek medical attention immediately, or go straight to the emergency room.
  • Do not rinse the eye.
  • Do not apply pressure to the eye.
  • Do not take any form of pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

From our staff and eye physicians here at Wolfe Eye Clinic we want to wish all of our patients a safe and happy Fourth! Remember to keep a safe distance, be aware of your surroundings, and know the important safety tips when it comes to fireworks.