In the summer, going to see a fireworks show is about as American as apple pie and a hot dog at a baseball game. But fireworks can be dangerous and can cause serious harm if you’re not careful!
The good news is that there are things you can do to keep your eyes safe while you enjoy them. Keep reading for 9 ways to keep your eyes safe around fireworks this summer!
1. Do not let children play with fireworks unattended
The first rule of using fireworks is never to let children play with them unattended, ever. Young children especially are likely to injure themselves.
The most recent Consumer Product Safety Commission report found that 19% of fireworks injuries were eye injuries. For children, those that are 15 years old and younger accounted for 36% of the total fireworks injuries.
Half of the injuries that required a visit to the emergency room were for people that were twenty years old or younger. All fireworks, including sparklers, are dangerous to children!
Letting them play with them unattended is a recipe for disaster. If you must buy fireworks, make sure to keep an eye on all children while they are out and in use. Don’t let children light off fireworks, as this is one of the most common ways they can get injured.
2. Wear proper eye protection if you’re lighting your own fireworks
If you have to light your own fireworks (it is legal in the state of Georgia for those that are 18 and older), make sure you’re doing it safely. Wear proper eye protection, as fireworks can easily injure you as you’re lighting them.
If there are other people around when you’re lighting your fireworks, they should wear eye protection as well. Bystanders and onlookers are some of the most commonly injured people during home fireworks shows, so eye protection is a must!
Make sure they are a safe distance away from any fireworks you are lighting, as fireworks may produce debris. Some debris may be quite hot as it lands, so keeping people out of the way of this is the safest and smartest thing you can do!
3. Keep a bucket of water nearby, just in case
Fireworks can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to keep a bucket of water nearby. This is in case a firework gets too hot and to soak fireworks in once you’re done using them.
After all, fireworks are flammable, so you wouldn’t want to start a fire because you were lighting fireworks off too close to dry leaves or other materials that easily catch fire.
4. Don’t try to make your own fireworks
Making your own fireworks sounds like it would be fun, but it’s not going to end well. Do not under any circumstances try to make your own.
Any homemade fireworks you make are likely to be unstable and hard to control. They won’t have any instructions you can follow, and because they aren’t regulated, you may find yourself with a serious injury.
5. If you get ash in your eye from a firework, don’t rub it
Ash, debris and other materials are almost inevitable when you’re lighting your own fireworks. If you happen to get ash in your eye, don’t rub it.
Instead, flush your eye out with water. Rubbing your eye will only lead to more irritation and could even cause permanent damage. If your eye still feels uncomfortable after flushing it with water, you may want to see a doctor to make sure your eye is okay.
6. Stay at a distance of at least 500 feet from any fireworks going off
The closer the better may seem like a good idea, but if you’re watching a home fireworks show, you’re actually better off further away. Make sure you’re at least 500 feet away from any fireworks going off.
This will protect you from any debris that may be flying through the air or if a firework went off before it was supposed to. Being too close could result in injuries, so keep your distance instead!
7. Never point any fireworks at anybody
It may sound like we are going back to elementary school here, but you should never point fireworks at anybody. This is especially true if the firework has already been lit!
Pointing a lit firework at someone could result in serious injuries or even death. Fireworks are not a plaything and should not be treated as one.
8. Don’t shoot a firework out of a glass or metal container
Besides wearing eye protection when lighting fireworks, never shoot a firework out of a glass or metal container. What you’re essentially creating is a bomb, which will explode.
This will then likely shatter, expelling glass or metal shards in every direction. To avoid this awful scenario, only shoot fireworks in open spaces that aren’t nearby things that are flammable.
9. If at all possible, leave the fireworks to the professionals
Look, if you want to keep your eyes safe around fireworks, the easiest thing you could possibly do is leave them to the professionals. There’s no reason why you or your family needs to light them off yourself when they are dangerous and can be quite unpredictable.
Even if you’ve used them before, you never 100% know how they will react or if you will get injured. Professional fireworks shows are bombastic, over-the-top, and endlessly entertaining.
This summer, why not sit back and relax and let them worry about the fireworks instead?
Concerned about the health of your eyes? Schedule an appointment at Takle Eye Group in Griffin, GA with one of our eye doctors today!