Wolfe Eye Clinic | Iowa Firework Eye Protection

July 2, 2019

Fireworks, Fun, and Tips for Protecting Your Eyes

Your eyes love to watch the fireworks but being safe is important too. Here are some tips to keep you and your eyes safe this fourth of July!

It's not the fourth of July without fireworks, sparklers, parades and barbeques! We all know there is something special about fireworks from the big bangs to the bright lights, and finally watching the fireworks with those you love. The fun and laughter are so endless that sometimes we forget the danger of fireworks, especially to our eyes. Unfortunately, we can't predict a defective firework or stop certain injuries, but we can take precautions to prevent unfortunate situations from happening.

Firework injuries are very common. In fact, nearly 13,000 injuries occurred in 2017 and eight people died as a result. According to Prevent Blindness, fourteen percent of firework injuries are to the eyes. This makes sense because sparklers can reach temperatures of 1,800°F, which is hot enough to melt gold! Fireworks include anything from simple sparklers to roman candles all of which can temporarily or permanently damage the eye. Chemical and thermal burns, corneal scarring and retinal detachments are just a few unfortunate eye-related issues that can occur. Here are a few tips when enjoying your firework-filled fourth of July!

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

Where you light fireworks is very important. Keep fireworks away from young children and structures that could light on fire. Whenever handling fireworks, wear safety glasses. Speaking of clothing, avoid putting any type of firework like a bottle rocket in your pocket; the friction inside your pocket could set them off! As always, it is important to keep water and fire extinguishers nearby. Firework eye safety during July 4th celebrations.

Handheld Fireworks

Sparklers, a kid-favorite handheld firework that is fun to watch twinkle and spark as it burns down. Make sure to keep a close eye on children when handling these. As cool as it is to watch sparks up-close, hold them far away from the face and keep them away from clothes to avoid igniting clothing.

Non-Handheld Fireworks

Think of a skyrocket or spinner fireworks. First make sure you triple check the direction in which the firework will go off! You certainly do not want one pointed toward your eyes! Second, standing far enough back will help ensure sparks keep their distance from your eyes. Lastly, if a firework seems to be malfunctioning, give it some time and avoid putting your face over the firework before handling the malfunctioning firework. On behalf of the staff and eye physicians here at Wolfe Eye Clinic, we hope you have a safe and happy Fourth! Remember to be aware and mindful of your surroundings when it comes to fireworks.