SAN DIEGO, June 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the July 4th celebration right around the corner, thousands of people will be handling or viewing fireworks to commemorate our nation's independence. While so many participate in this national pastime, very few are aware of the dangers and risk of eye injury caused by fireworks. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 8,600 injuries caused by fireworks occur each year.1 Nearly 15 percent of the injuries occur to one's eyes, with many resulting in permanent vision loss,2 while more than half of the injuries occur as a result of firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers that are used by ordinary people.3
Dr. Sandy T. Feldman, owner and founder of ClearView Eye & Laser Medical Center based in San Diego, is a corneal expert who wants to remind consumers to leave the fireworks to the professionals. Many potentially blinding injuries can be avoided if families refrain from putting on their own fireworks display at home and attend a professional public fireworks display instead. While the government is committed to cracking down on the manufacture and sale of illegal fireworks4, still an alarming 43 percent of targeted shipments contain noncompliant fireworks.1
"While most people are at least aware that fireworks can be hazardous to your eyes, they forget that eye injuries also occur while simply watching fireworks displays," says Dr. Sandy T. Feldman. "In order to avoid injury, it is recommended that consumers stand at least 500 feet away from any live fireworks display," Dr. Feldman emphasizes.
For a safe and healthy Independence Day celebration this summer, Dr. Feldman urges consumers to observe the following tips:
- Never let children play with fireworks of any type, even a sparkler. Sparklers are considered fireworks and can heat up to 2000 degrees.
- Leave the lighting of fireworks to trained professionals.
- If you find unexploded fireworks remains, do not touch them. Instead, immediately contact your local fire or police departments.
- Wear ANSI-approved protective eyewear with the Z87 mark this summer to prevent eye injuries.
- If you experience an eye injury, seek medical help immediately.
5. AAO. Eye Injuries: Recent Data and Trends in the U.S.
SOURCE ClearView Eye & Laser Medical Center