Did You Know?
- More than 15,000 people are sent to the emergency room each year due to injuries caused by fireworks. 1
- Nearly 7 in 10 firework-related injuries occurred between June 21st and July 21st 1
- Of the 2,300 injuries to the head, eyes, ears and face, 1,500 were to the eyes, and most of which were burns.1
- One in 5 injuries were in children younger than age 15. 1
Summer Has Arrived!
This month the skies are filled with bright displays of color and light. During this year's summertime celebrations, Friends for Sight wants you to protect and preserve your vision by reminding you about the dangers of fireworks (including firecrackers, rockets and other devices like sparklers) and reviewing some important facts and safety precautions.
According to the most recently released Fireworks Annual Report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, emergency room visits for firework-related injuries have gone up substantially from prior years. Compared to the 10,000 injuries reported in 2019, there were an estimated 15,600 injuries in 2020. More than 66% of these occurred between June 21st and July 21st Nearly 1 in 5 were to the head, eyes, ears and face, and more than half of these involved the eyes. 1
One common cause of injuries is sparklers. The tip of the sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns. Each year many Utah children are burned by these seemingly harmless devices. Children under the age of 12 should not use sparklers without close adult supervision. Friends for Sight advises teaching children three basic sparkler rules:
- Light one sparkler at a time.
- Hold it at arm's length from the body.
Never wave sparklers or run while holding them.
What Can You Do?
From contusions to corneal lacerations, from children to adults, everyone is at risk of a firework-related eye injury if proper firework safety precautions are not followed. To protect yourself, friends and family from firework-related eye injuries, here are some important safety tips provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
- Never let children play with fireworks of any type.
- View fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
- Leave the lighting of fireworks to professionals.
- Respect established barriers to allow pyro-technicians to do their jobs safely.
- If you find unexploded fireworks, do not touch them (contact local fire or police department).
If you do experience an eye injury during a firework accident, seek immediate medical attention.
- Do not rub the eye.
- Do not attempt to rinse out the eye.
- Do not apply pressure to the eye itself.
- Do not stop for medicine.
- Do not apply ointment.
Check the local rules about Class "C" fireworks with the Utah Fire Marshall website.
- Explore this Fire Safety Infographic
- Read a fact sheet about Firework Safety
- Take the Fireworks Quiz
- Read First Aid for Eye Emergencies