It is always best to let the professionals handle fireworks, but if you are handling, lighting, or intend to be within close range of fireworks, you should take precautions to protect your eyes. There are too many eye injuries caused by fireworks every year, and our surgeons have unfortunately seen the toll it can take on a person. Even with the best medical care, blindness and severe pain can be the result. It is better to prevent an eye injury than treat one.
Top tips to protect against fireworks injuries:
Wear protective eye wear - normal glasses will not protect your eyes against most injuries. Wear polycarbonate lenses if you are going to be lighting fireworks (with side protection).
Stand back - light your fireworks at arm's length, using a taper, and then stand back at least 10 feet.
Do not light fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs.
Supervise children at all times - over half of firework injuries are suffered by children. Our recommendation is that children under the age of 13 should not be allowed to handle a potentially harmful explosive such as this.
Do not give sparklers to children under the age of five.
Stay clear of fireworks that have been lit - even if they haven't gone off; keep your distance as it could still explode.
What to do for a fireworks eye injury:
Seek medical attention immediately - call our office or go directly to the Wills Eye emergency room.
Do not rub your eyes
Do not rinse your eyes
Do not apply pressure
Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye
Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen
Have fun and be safe this summer!