Fireworks are a holiday staple, especially on New Year’s Eve, Lunar New Year, and on the Fourth of July. We love watching fireworks, but accidents are common: the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's latest report tells us that over 1,800 people suffered eye injuries from fireworks just on these two holidays last year. Here’s what your eye doctor at Wellington Eye Care, serving Wellington and the greater Fort Collins area, wants you to know about handling and viewing fireworks safely.
Fireworks can rupture the globe of the eye. They can burn the cornea with both heat and chemicals. They can cause a detached retina. All of these injuries can cause loss of sight without immediate treatment.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s report on fireworks injuries states that 36 percent of all eye injuries from fireworks are in children under the age of 15. Half of all eye injuries caused by fireworks happen in children and teens, 19 and younger.
Sparklers burn at 2000° Fahrenheit. The latest fireworks injuries report found that nearly 20 percent of eye injuries were caused by sparklers. There has even been a death from a sparkler injury.
One study found that 65 percent of fireworks injuries occurred in people who were watching fireworks, not in the people who set them off. This study also found that nearly three-quarters of bystanders receiving eye injuries were boys 15 and younger who got too close.
There are a number of things you should not do if your eye is injured by fireworks. Do not rub your eye. Do not rinse your eye. Do not apply pressure. Do not remove any foreign object stuck in your eye. Do not take aspirin or any blood-thinning medication. Call your eye doctor immediately and follow the advice you receive.
Your optometrist at Wellington Eye Care can help you with all your eyecare needs. Request an appointment online or call us at (970) 568-7161, Wellington Eye Care’s offices are located just a few miles north of Fort Collins and south of Cheyenne west of I-25 at 8251 Wellington Blvd, Wellington, CO, 80549.