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4th of July, be safe out there


Fireworks Eye Injuries Have More Than Doubled in Recent Years

Fireworks sales will be blazing across the country from now through the Fourth of July. As retailers begin their promotions, Shore Eye Associates joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in shining a light on this explosive fact: the number of eye injuries caused by fireworks has more than doubled in recent years.

Fireworks injuries cause approximately 10,000 visits to the Emergency Room each year, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Injuries largely occurred in the weeks before and after the Fourth of July. The CPSC’s most recent fireworks report showed that about 1,300 eye injuries related to fireworks were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2014, up from 600 reported in 2011.

To help prevent these injuries, the Academy is debunking four myths about consumer fireworks risks:

1.         Small doesn’t equal safe. A common culprit of fireworks injuries is the kind often handed to small children – the classic sparkler. Many people mistakenly believe sparklers are harmless due to their size. However, they can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt certain metals. On a personal note Dr. Wnorowski, when he was a resident, had to remove a 2 year old’s eye because his brother accidently hit him in the eye with a sparkler.

2.         Even though it looks like a dud, it may not act like one. At age 16, Jameson Lamb was hit square in the eye with a Roman candle that he thought had been extinguished. Now 20, Lamb has gone through multiple surgeries including a corneal transplant and a stem cell transplant. 

3.         Just because you’re not lighting or throwing it doesn’t mean you’re out of the firing line. An international study of fireworks-related eye injuries showed that half of those hurt were bystanders. The researchers also found that one in six of these injuries caused severe vision loss. 

4.         The Fourth can be complete without using consumer fireworks. The Academy advises that the safest way to view fireworks is to watch a professional show.

If you experience a fireworks eye injury:

•          Seek medical attention immediately.

•          Avoid rubbing or rinsing the eyes or applying pressure.

•          Do not remove any object from the eye, apply ointments, or take any pain. medications before seeking medical help.

For more from the American Academy of Ophthalmology click here to see the story of the fireman who almost lost his sight from fireworks.
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Friday, 22 October 2021

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