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Fireworks Safety Tips to Protect Your Eyes

As we approach the excitement of summertime celebrations, many of us look forward to enjoying the spectacular displays of fireworks. However, while these colorful explosions light up the sky, they also pose significant risks, particularly to our eyes. June is Fireworks Safety Month, and at Cascade Eye & Skin Centers, we are dedicated to helping you and your loved ones enjoy a safe, injury-free celebration.

Here’s what you need to know about fireworks safety and how to protect your vision during these festive times.

photo of a couple watching fireworks at night

The Risks: Fireworks and Eye Safety

Each year, fireworks are responsible for thousands of injuries that require emergency room visits. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,200 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2022.
Alarmingly, about 16% of these injuries were eye-related, ranging from mild irritations to severe trauma such as burns, corneal abrasions, or even more catastrophic injuries like retinal detachment and permanent vision loss.

Potential Eye Injuries from Fireworks

  • Burns and Corneal Abrasions: The most common injuries are burns and scratches to the eyes from sparks or debris.
  • Contusions: Blunt force trauma from larger fireworks can cause bruising or more severe damage to the eye and surrounding areas.
  • Penetration Injuries: Pieces of shattered shells can penetrate the eye, leading to serious injury and potential vision loss.
  • Chemical Burns: Some fireworks contain chemicals that can cause painful burns if they come into contact with the eyes.

How to Protect Your Eyes During Fireworks Displays

1. Supervise Children Closely

Children are often at higher risk for fireworks injuries. Ensure that they watch from a safe distance and do not handle fireworks themselves.

2. Wear Protective Eyewear

Anyone setting off fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear that meets the safety standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

3. Keep a Safe Distance

Spectators should keep a safe distance from the area where fireworks are being lit. Remember, even sparklers can reach temperatures hot enough to cause severe burns and should be handled with care.

4. Leave It to the Professionals

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a professional display. These events are conducted by experts who take extra precautions to protect themselves and the audience.

5. Know First Aid

In case of an eye injury, do not rub or rinse your eyes or attempt to remove any objects stuck in them. Instead, seek immediate medical attention to minimize the damage.

Celebrate Safely

While fireworks are a traditional part of many celebrations, they come with risks that can be mitigated with proper precautions. By following these safety tips, you can help ensure that your celebration is memorable for all the right reasons – not because of a trip to the emergency room.
At Cascade Eye & Skin Centers, your vision is our priority. Let’s keep it safe so you can enjoy the beauty of fireworks without putting your eyes at risk. Our team is here to provide expert care and help preserve your eye health through all your seasonal activities. Enjoy a safe and happy celebration!
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