Eye Injuries From Fireworks Almost 2000
In 2010 over 1800 eye injuries from fireworks were seen in emergency rooms. According to the National Fireworks Protection Association there were 8600 people treated for fireworks related injuries in emergency rooms in 2010. Many more injuries are seen in optometrist offices.Most of those injuries occurred on the 4th of July holiday. Kids between the age of 5-14 are at the highest risk, and probably it is no surprise that boys suffer the majority of injuries.
Fireworks causing blindness
In 2010 permanent vision loss occurred in over 130 people (mostly children that were not handling fireworks but in close proximity to others that were). Just like second hand smoke second hand exposure to fireworks is dangerous in many cases.
It is surprising to understand that the majority of injuries are due to fireworks that are legal in many areas. Bottle rockets are responsible for a number of serious eye injuries. Due to their high velocity the have been reported to damage the cornea, cause traumatic cataracts, detachments and bleeding in the retina, glaucoma, and even damage to the optic nerve. Sparklers are notorious for burn injuries in children and some severe ones on the eyes. They burn 1200 degrees hot so it is not something you really want your child waving around and playing with.
Colorado Forest Fires And Fireworks are in the headlines due to the High Park Fire by Fort Collins and the Colorado Springs Fire. While neither fire is thought to be started by fireworks, they both have highlighted the extreme vulnerability this summer due to the dry winter and large number of trees dead from pine beetles. In 2010 there were over 15000 fireworks related fires reported that resulted in 8 deaths, and 36 million dollars of damage. The 4th f July is the highest fire day of the year, with fireworks contributing about 40% of the total.
Probably the most famous fireworks injuries recorded were at Disneyland in 1993. The fantasmic fireworks eye injuries struck one adult in the eyes and a child on the face. After added safety measures there have been no recurrences.
Prevent Blindness In America By Fireworks Safety
- Let someone else put on the show that is trained and stay 500 feet away
- Wearing glasses, especially if they are higher impact materials adds significant protection to your eyes
- No bottle rocket wars
- Keep those sparklers away from the kids
- Talk to your children about the dangers of being a victim by being too close to other people shooting off fireworks!
The Good News Is—This will probably be a much safer year with lower injury rates and property damages. Between the economy and higher risks in the forests this year, less public firework displays are planned and there has been much more publicity about restrictions on fireworks.Stay safe and don’t give your eye doctor any 4th of July business-everyone will feel better!