Every 4th of July, it’s tradition to illuminate the night sky with colorful fireworks as a way to celebrate America’s independence. Unfortunately, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports thousands of eye injuries happen every year as a result of these celebrations.
Your eye doctor from Vienna Eyecare Center shares five tips for protecting your eyes as we observe Fireworks Eye Safety Month this June.
1. Leave Fireworks to the Pros
One of the best ways to avoid fireworks-related eye injuries is to attend professional fireworks displays instead of purchasing your own consumer fireworks. Professional pyrotechnicians have the necessary knowledge, training, and skills to safely light fireworks and firecrackers.
2. Maintain a Safe Distance
As you’re watching the fireworks display, your eye care specialist reminds you to maintain a safe distance from the fireworks grounds. Stay at least 500 feet away from where the fireworks are being lit.
3. Wear Protective Eyewear
Remember to wear proper safety eyewear whenever attending a fireworks display. Those made of polycarbonate are a good choice. Polycarbonate is as much as 10 times more durable and impact-resistant than the usual plastic, reducing the chances of shattering even under great amounts of pressure.
4. Do Not Pick Up “Dud” Fireworks or Firecrackers
Keep in mind that “dud” firecrackers or fireworks may still explode after a few minutes. This is actually one of the most common causes of fireworks-induced injuries. Pour water over a “dud” before approaching and disposing of it. Then, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent transferring gunpowder from your hands to your eyes.
5. In Case of Injury, Head to Your Trusted Eye Clinic
If you sustain eye injuries from fireworks, seek help from your optometrist as soon as possible. Refrain from rinsing, rubbing or applying pressure on the affected eye. Avoid self-medicating, as well, as this may worsen your condition.
For more tips on preventing fireworks-related eye injuries, call us at (703) 688-7003 or complete our form. We serve Fairfax, VA, and nearby areas.