As beautiful and fun fireworks are, they can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, in 2014 alone, 10,000 reported injuries were caused by fireworks and more than 10% of those injuries affected the eyes. With the 4th of July just around the corner, your optometrists from 20/20 Image Eye Centers share some tips on preventing this problem as we observe Fireworks Eye Safety Awareness Month this June.
Fireworks Are Better Left to the Pros
It’s better to leave fireworks to the experts instead of purchasing and lighting them on your own. Professional pyrotechnicians have the necessary training and knowledge to handle different types of fireworks and firecracker safely.
Stay Clear of the Fireworks Grounds
Your optometrist explains that fireworks debris may still be hot or glowing when they hit the ground, potentially causing burns. This is why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends staying at least 500 feet away from where the fireworks are being lit.
Be Careful When Handling Sparklers and “Duds”
Many people think that sparklers are harmless and completely safe to use. However, the temperature of a sparkler can actually shoot up to 2,000 degrees, which can cause serious eye burns. Another common cause of fireworks-related eye accidents is picking up unexploded fireworks or “duds.” These can still go off after a few minutes, which is why you should avoid handling them. Douse water over them before approaching and cleaning them up. Afterward, wash your hands thoroughly to remove any traces of gunpowder, which can cause eye irritation.
Wear Protective Eyewear
Wearing proper safety glasses or goggles is one of the most effective ways to protect your eyes. Your optometrist suggests choosing a pair that’s made of polycarbonate, which is up to 10 times more impact-resistant than the standard plastic. It’s made of durable materials, ensuring your protective eyewear won’t easily shatter even when subjected to extreme heat and pressure.
To learn more eye safety tips, fill out our form and request an appointment. We serve Chandler, Fountain Hills and nearby AZ areas.