Tips for a safe, fun July Fourth
The Fourth of July is a favorite American holiday. Yet mishaps with fireworks can make the holiday memorable for all the wrong reasons.
Each Fourth of July, thousands of Americans are injured using fireworks, and 1,300 people injure their eyes. Eye injuries from fireworks include cuts, burns, abrasions, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage, rupture of the eyeball and complete blindness. This damage is often permanent.
Young children and teenagers account for more than half of all fireworks injuries in the United States.
“Our eyes are very delicate, so a fireworks accident can be truly devastating,” said Ed Ryan, M.D., president of the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology.
“Unfortunately, people get caught up in the excitement of July 4th, and forget fireworks are also dangerous explosives. Children are particularly vulnerable to fireworks hazards.”
For a safe and fun July 4th celebration, follow these five tips:
• Never let children play with fireworks of any type.
• If you do experience an eye injury during a fireworks accident, seek immediate medical help.
• View fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
• Leave the lighting of fireworks to trained professionals.
• Respect safety barriers that allow pyrotechnicians to do their job safely.
If you find unexploded fireworks, do not touch them. Immediately contact your local fire or police departments.
The Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology invites Minnesotans to visit www.mneyemd.org for accurate eye health and eye disease information.