The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) reminds Americans that there are over 9,000 fireworks related injuries each year. Of these injuries, almost half affect the head and nearly 30% of those are injuries to the eyes. One quarter of these fireworks related injuries leave victims with permanent vision loss or blindness.
It is especially important to note that children age fifteen and younger suffer half of all fireworks eye injuries. Sparklers, which can cause third degree burns, can be especially dangerous for young children. Bottle rockets are considered the most dangerous fireworks.
The month of July has been established as “Eye Safety Awareness Month.” The AOA offers the following safety tips:
- Never let children play with fireworks of any type.
- View fireworks from a safe distance: at least 500 feet away, or up to a quarter of a mile for best viewing.
- Respect safety barriers set up to allow pyrotechnicians to do their jobs safely.
- Leave the lighting of fireworks to trained professionals.
- Follow directives given by event ushers or public safety personnel.
- If you find unexploded fireworks remains, do not touch them. Immediately contact your local fire or police departments.
- If you get an eye injury from fireworks, seek medical help immediately.
Source: AOA Press Release