ATLANTA, Ga. (June 30, 2017) – An extra-long Fourth of July weekend means more time to celebrate and more chances for injuries from fireworks, experts say. A Georgia woman who is a mother and eye doctor is urging parents to be extra careful around fireworks during this year’s long holiday weekend.
“Now that you can buy fireworks just about everywhere, the temptation to light some is greater than ever before,” said Dr. Nhung Brandenburg, newly elected president of the Georgia Optometric Association. “Take my advice. Leave the fireworks to the pros!”
Dr. Brandenburg and members of the Georgia Optometric Association are issuing a CONSUMER ALERT to warn parents the fun can be cut short when fireworks are used inappropriately and may cause serious eye injuries. Some of the most common fireworks injuries are eye abrasions, lacerations, contusions and foreign matter in the eye. The majority of these cases are related to the use of sparklers, which burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average, 250 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday.
To help prevent injury during fireworks season, the Georgia Optometric Association recommends the following tips to help protect and preserve eyesight during the Fourth of July holiday:
Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
“If a firework-related eye injury does occur, always follow up with a full eye exam,” said Dr. Brandenburg. “An eye doctor will help ensure that the injury heals correctly and can monitor for potential future vision problems.”
To find an optometrist in your area, or for additional information on how best to protect your eyes during the Fourth of July holiday, please visit www.GOAeyes.com.