Fireworks and Eye Safety
The fourth of July is one of the most iconic fireworks celebrations. Families and friends gather to watch and participate in the amazing light shows that brighten the night skies. Though fireworks are fun and exciting, they can be a huge problem for eye safety and health.
With increasing fireworks-related injuries, it is no wonder that learning safety practices while handling fireworks is important. That is why June is Fireworks Eye Safety Month.
Most fireworks accidents occur when people use them without proper safety precautions. So, if you plan to celebrate Independence Day, here are some fun facts about fireworks and eye safety.
Can Fireworks Damage Eyes?
Fireworks pose a big problem not only for your eye safety but also for your general health. Fireworks accidents happen more than you might think. In some severe cases, you might find yourself in the emergency room during the festivities.
It only needs one thing to go wrong, and you will be in trouble. Whether you want to shoot up a Roman candle or sparklers, fragments from fireworks can easily shoot outwards and get into your eye.
Most fireworks contain charcoal, gunpowder, sulfur, and other materials. Once these compounds get into your eye, they can cause irritation, injury, and damage to your eye.
Debris or materials shot out of the fireworks can also scratch or tear your cornea or retina. If not properly treated, these foreign materials can cause harm to your eye.
Likewise, fireworks explosions can also burn your eyes and eyelids, which can be extremely painful. The burns might also leave some nasty scars around your eyes and face. If you ever get a fireworks eye injury, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Can Fireworks Cause Blindness?
In most severe cases, fireworks explosions can cause blindness. When debris and shrapnel are launched into your eye, it can cause cuts and bruises, which can cause considerable damage, leading to blindness.
In addition, when corrosive compounds such as gunpowder and sulfur get into your eye, they could burn your retina or cornea. Without proper treatment, these burns may result in vision loss.
Infections are also another common result of damage to your eye. Bacteria can find their way through cuts you might get from the debris. Infections can lead to inflammation, swelling, fever, and severe pain. If not treated, these infections can spread, causing blindness and other health issues.
If more than one-third of your eye is injured, it might result in permanent vision loss. Furthermore, more damage to your eye might also result in your eye being removed.
How To View Fireworks Safely
If you are thinking of heading out to watch a fireworks display, then you need to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your friends.
One major thing you must remember is that children should not be allowed to handle any fireworks. All fireworks are dangerous and can lead to severe injuries. Though your kid might want to play around with a sparkler, they can cause severe burns that need medical attention.
Let us look at some important safety guides you should always practice during the festivities.
Wear protective eyewear
You always need to wear protective eyewear when handling or watching fireworks. Though sparklers might seem harmless, it is crucial to ensure you and your kids are protected from any sparks or debris that might fly your way.
Always keep a safe distance
Secondly, you need to keep a safe distance during the fireworks show. Once lit, materials can be launched over 100 yards. Though using barriers can be a safe option, it is always better to maintain a safe distance between you and the launching area to prevent accidental injury. Likewise, you should never have any body parts directly over fireworks before lighting them.
Never set off fireworks in glass or metal containers
Using metals and glass containers to launch your fireworks is never a good idea. These materials can easily shatter and become part of the shrapnel flying in your direction.
Adult supervision is necessary for children
As we stated before, you should never let your child handle fireworks. It is very easy to get serious eye injuries while holding firecrackers, sparklers, or Roman candles. In addition, excited kids might also run into the line of fire if they are not adequately supervised.
Likewise, older children should only be allowed to use fireworks with adult supervision. This reduces the chances of accidents.
Do not pick up duds
You should reconsider picking up a dud. In some cases, fireworks might have a delayed ignition and explode while you are handling them. Always have a bucket of water around to wet them before you decide to pick them up.
What Happens If You Get Shot in The Eye with A Firework?
Even though you might take the necessary safety procedures to protect yourself, sometimes, accidents might be out of your control. Knowing how to handle any fireworks-related eye injury is essential.
The first thing you should always do is seek medical attention. However, there are a few things you should take into consideration as you wait for your doctor’s assistance:
- Do not try to pull out any debris or shrapnel from the eye. It can lead to scratching and tearing, causing further damage.
- Do not rub or apply pressure to the eye. Any rubbing can push objects further into the eye. In addition, it might also lead to eye infections.
- Do not rinse the eye. Though your eye might feel irritated, rinsing it would introduce bacteria to the eye leading to infection.
- Do not take pain medication or apply ointments to the eye without a proper prescription. Ointments and medication can profoundly affect your injury, leading to further damage to the eye.
Fireworks Safety Tips
In addition, here are some other safety tips to consider while handling fireworks:
- You should always store fireworks in a cool and dry place.
- Never keep fireworks next to a firing area.
- Always check the fireworks storage instructions.
- Always observe your state and local laws on fireworks use.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.