For most of us, celebrating the Fourth of July means barbeques and fireworks. Unfortunately, the fun can be cut short when fireworks are used inappropriately and cause serious injuries. One of the most common causes of firework injury is when a device explodes before expected. This often results in cuts, burns and bruises in and around the eye. Sparklers are not exempt, in fact they are responsible for a significant percentage of eye injury cases.

According to a study by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were the culprit for an estimated 8,800 injuries treated in US emergencies departments during 2009. Of these, 54 present were children and teens under the age of 20 years.

Below are tips to help protect and preserve eyesight during the Fourth of July holiday.

  • Discuss firework safety with children and teens prior to the Fourth of July holiday.
  • Do not allow kids to handle fireworks and never leave them unsupervised near fireworks.
  • Wear protective eyewear when lighting and handling fireworks of any kind.
  • Store fireworks, matches and lighters in a secure place where children won’t find them.
  • Refrain from purchasing sparklers. Heating up to 1,800 degrees, sparklers are the number one cause of fireworks injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and only light fireworks when family, friends and children are at a safe distance.

Have a happy and safe holiday!

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