According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s most recent annual fireworks injury report fireworks caused 9,100 injuries treated in the U.S. hospital emergency departments during the calendar year 2018. Eye injures accounted for 19 percent of these injuries. Most of these injuries occurred in the weeks surrounding July 4th.
To help prevent injuries, here are three myths about consumer fireworks risk:
Just because a firework is small, doesn’t mean it is less dangerous. Children account for the largest group injured by fireworks. The sparkler is one of the most dangerous fireworks. Snappers and poppers also cause injury.
A firework may still be hot even if it doesn’t appear hot. Never touch unexploded fireworks. Contact the local fire or police department to properly handle unexploded fireworks.
You may be in the line of fire even if you aren’t lighting or throwing it. Nearly half of the people injured by fireworks are bystanders.
If you experience a fireworks-related eye injury:
- Get medical attention immediately.
- Do not rub or rinse the eyes. Do not apply pressure to the eye.
- Do not remove any object that may be attached to the eye. Do not apply ointment. Do not take pain medication before seeking medical help.
The Cleveland Eye Clinic provides emergency care to patients sustaining eye trauma. You can call 440-526-1974 for 24-hour emergency response.
A patient’s eye presented due to decreased vision related to a fireworks explosion. He had diffused, metallic foreign bodies embedded throughout his cornea. Thankfully, his vision was able to be restored with the use of scleral lenses. Take home message: don’t play with fireworks!