Iowans celebrating 4th of July with fireworks | Eye Saf

June 28, 2017

Tips to Save Your Sight This 4th of July

Save your sight with this advice from Ben Mason, M.D. No doubt about it. Fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, thousands of celebrations end with a visit to the ER. Fireworks devices were involved in an estimated 9,600 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2011.* If your eyes are injured in a fireworks related accident, take these steps to help save your sight:

  • Do not rub the eye. Rubbing the eye may increase bleeding or make the injury worse.
  • Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
  • Do not apply pressure to the eye itself. Hold or tape a foam cup or other container over the eye. The goal is to protect the eye from further contact with any item, including a child's hand.
  • Do not stop for medicine! Proceed to the emergency room at once - this is more important than stopping for a pain reliever.
  • Do not apply ointment. Ointment, which may not be sterile, makes the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.

Tips to help prevent injury from fireworks:

  • Prevent Blindness America advises that the only sure prevention for eye injuries is to not ignite any fireworks. Attend only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators, but be aware that even professional displays can be dangerous.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Always have an adult closely supervise fireworks activities.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person. Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
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