Enjoying the three F’s…
Family, frankfurters, and fireworks – all the highlight of Independence Day, but one of them can do seriously more harm. In the most recent fireworks injury report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 11,400 fireworks related injuries occurred this past year where victims needed emergency room treatment, and 1 in 6 of these injuries damaged the eyes. Surprisingly enough, only half of these injuries were to those handling the explosives. Bystanders are at just as much risk, accounting for the other half. Children of the age 15 and under were the majority of the victims, accounting for 40% of total injuries. Don’t let fireworks damage your eyes this Independence Day in Cleveland so you can enjoy the holiday to its full potential.
Sparklers – Not so Harmless to Children…
It’s a common misconception that sparklers are a harmless summer-time festivity. Sparklers can burn up to 1200 degree Fahrenheit and cause third degree burns if directly applied to the skin, or more importantly the eyes. For eye safety, sparklers are meant to be held at arm’s length, and not to be waved around. The risk is that you may lose control of the sparkler and it could come in contact with the face and eyes. Children especially are prone to this, and the direct application of a sparkler to one’s eyes will result in serious injury, such as eye laceration and optic nerve damage. These injuries would require immediate eye care professional attention. Make sure sparklers are used properly this Independence Day to stay away from eye related harm.
Professional Firework Shows Versus your Backyard
It is exponentially safer to see professional fireworks than to put on your own show in the backyard. Professional fireworks technicians (Pyrotechnicians) know all of the safety precautions necessary for an enjoyable evening, including setting up barriers for safe viewing and selecting the right explosives. Pyrotechnicians also know precisely the right way to ignite fireworks, eliminating any risk of one exploding at close range. Often non-professionals do not light the explosives correctly, resulting in eye damage from close range explosions. Don’t let your backyard show result in eye surgery this year. By going to a professional show this year, you’ll also get to spend more time with the family because all of the setup and cleanup will be taken care of!
For a list of the professional shows in the Cleveland area this summer go to Firework Displays in Cuyahoga County. These include communities like Bay Village, North Olmsted, Berea, Strongsville, Brecksville, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Warrensville Heights, Highland Heights, many more Cleveland suburbs and of course – Cleveland’s own firework displays through July and August.
What to do if a Fireworks Eye Injury Occurs
If an eye injury does happen to occur, do the following:
- Have you, or someone close by call for medical attention immediately
- Do not rub your eyes or rinse them in water as it could worsen the damage
- Do not apply pressure to the injury
- Do not remove any objects that may be stuck in the eye
- Do not take any supplemental medications, including ointments, before seeking medical help
When any sort of eye injury occurs – from fireworks, sports or even household projects, the eye doctors at Corrective Eye Center are ophthalmologists, licensed to practice medicine and perform eye surgeries (see our post Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and Opticians: Oh My! to learn the difference between types of eye care professionals) and will diagnose and treat eye injuries. Call Corrective Eye Center at (216) 574-8900 to schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors in one of 4 Cleveland area locations or fill out our request an appointment form.