Fireworks are a staple of July fourth celebrations around the country; from backyard bottle rockets and sparklers to the town’s fireworks extravaganza. Fireworks make us do those lovely “oooh” and “awwww” sounds we are so familiar with.
They are so pretty, so loud, and yes, so dangerous.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), fireworks mishaps account for approximately 10,000 visits to emergency rooms each year, and most of them involve children who suffer thousands of eye injuries. Not surprisingly, the most disabling injuries occur with illegal firecrackers, but the highest number of injuries happen at home with the legal fireworks parents buy for kids.
At Pacific ClearVision Institute we love us some fireworks and we want you to enjoy them as well, just safely. No one wants to visit the emergency room on the fourth of July so we offer these simple facts and tips to keep you and your loved ones safe and happy this fourth.
· Sparklers burn at 1800 degrees which is hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers are responsible for most fireworks-related injuries among children age five and younger.
· Illegal fireworks are illegal for a reason. They are unpredictable and injure operators and bystanders alike.
· Do not pick up a firework after it has been lit. Seems like common sense but what appears like a dud quite often goes off shortly after it seems to have failed.
· The safest way to view fireworks is to watch a professional show.
· It may seem silly and unnecessary, but wearing safety glasses when playing with fireworks at home is a great way to reduce injury. Regular glasses or sunglasses are not enough. In fact, if something did happen close to your face while wearing regular glasses or sunglasses, those regular glasses are far more likely to shatter.
Now if something unexpected does happen and there is a potential injury here are a few helpful tips to minimize any potential damage.
· Stay calm. Freaking out only makes the situation worse as all you are accomplishing is adding additional stress to the situation.
· Seek immediate professional medical attention. Even if the injury seems mild, damaged areas may easily worsen if you don’t get proper treatment right away.
· Leave the eye alone – do not touch or rub the eye as the pressure can do more harm than good.
· Do not rinse the eye unless hot ash has fallen directly in or near the eye. It is better to create a temporary shield (like a paper cup or something curved that will not make contact with the eye) and gently tape it there for a temporary eye patch.
· Do not apply ointments or take pain medications before getting medical help.
It is truly amazing how easily injury can be avoided with just a little bit of forethought and precaution. Now that we’re given you some super basics, go have fun this Fourth. And if you’d like a bit more info on prevention or just information in general, feel free to give us a call – we’re always here to help. 541-343-5000.