Fireworks & Eye Safety

We know fireworks are a popular part of holiday celebrations, but it’s important to be aware of the dangers of using fireworks at home and to take proper safety precautions. In 2014 fireworks caused nearly 10,500 injuries requiring emergency room treatment in the United States (Source: 2014 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission fireworks injury report), almost 1300 of which were eye injuries—more than double of the 600 eye injury cases reported in 2012.

Blue Fireworks for New Years Eve

You don’t need to handle fireworks to be injured, and bystanders make up almost half of those injured by fireworks—a full 35 percent are children. (Source: British Journal of Ophthalmology)

How can you stay safe around fireworks? Here are a few tips!

At or Near Fireworks Shows

If you are attending a professional fireworks show this New Year’s Eve, observe safety barriers and keep a viewing distance of at least 500 feet. If you see unexploded fireworks, do not touch! Keep your distance, and contact local fire or police for help.

Using Fireworks

Fireworks are legal here in Texas, so have fun but proceed with caution! Prevent eye injuries by following a few simple rules:

  • No kids allowed! Never let young children handle or play with fireworks—even sparklers
  • Wear protective eyewear that meets American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards, and ask bystanders to wear protection as well
  • Do not handle or use professional-grade fireworks meant for trained pyrotechnicians

If you or someone else does sustain an eye injury, do not rub, rinse, remove objects, or apply pressure to the eyes and seek immediate medical attention.

Other hazards to watch out for during the holidays? Cooking oil and grease, popping corks, ornaments and hooks, toys and games with small/flying parts and sharp edges, hanging mistletoe, and tree branches/decorations.

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