NBC 5 and Prevent Blindness Texas want you to stay safe this 4th of July holiday.
This week is Fireworks Safety Week. Whether you are staying at home or going to a big celebration, leave the fireworks to the professionals to ensure a fun and safe Fourth of July for the whole family! Fireworks injure thousands of people every year, and some injuries result in death. Be safe and smart this summer and don’t play with fireworks.
Home fireworks, like sparklers, bottle rockets, and firecrackers were responsible for 2,100 hospital visits, and fireworks in general were responsible for 7,300 hospital visits in the year 2019. Burns are the most common injuries, with burns to the fingers, hands, arms and legs, but eye injuries also occur.
That’s why Prevent Blindness Texas has declared June 28th through July 4th as Fireworks Safety Awareness Week. Fireworks can damage your eyes, too. Contusions and lacerations are the most frequent injuries to eyes, which include foreign bodies in the eye.
If you do encounter an eye emergency, follow these steps to save your sight.
In the event of an eye emergency:
- Do not rub the eye. Rubbing the eye may increase bleeding or make the injury worse.
- Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
- Do not apply pressure to the eye itself. Holding or taping a foam cup or the bottom of a juice carton to the eye are just two tips. Protecting the eye from further contact with any item, including your hand, is the goal.
- Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain. Aspirin (should never be given to children) and Ibuprofen can thin the blood and increase bleeding. Go to the emergency room at once – this is more important than stopping for a pain reliever.
- Do not apply ointment. Ointment, which may not be sterile, makes the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.
Overall, the best way to prevent eye or other injuries is to not play with fireworks and do not let your child play with fireworks, even if their friends are.
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For more Fireworks Safety information, please visit https://texas.preventblindness.org/prevent-eye-injuries-from-fireworks/.