The Fourth of July right around the corner–and we want to remind everyone of some important safety tips when around and/or using fireworks. According to the latest report from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 8,700 fireworks-related injuries (or 67 percent of the total estimated fireworks-related injuries in 2017), were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms around the Independence Day period. (www.preventionofblindness.org)
It is important to remember that many eye injuries are preventable. Of course accidents happen, but taking the proper precautions to protect our eyes will dramatically decrease the risk of injury and/or blindness. July – in fact summer in general – is by far the most common time that we see eye injuries in our clinic. People are more likely to be exposed to factors that cause injuries when they are outdoors during the summer, especially doing activities such as yard work, sports, and shooting fireworks.
All it takes is common sense and asking yourself, could this activity be dangerous for my eyes? If there is ever a question, the answer is probably yes. Fireworks are dangerous not only to our eyes, so they are best left to professionals. When viewing fireworks shows from a distance there may still be dangers. Always be aware of your environment, and remain a safe distance at all times.
As for other activities (inside or out)–it only takes a moment to grab a pair of safety glasses. Whether it is working in the yard, or in the garage under a car, even if it seems inconvenient or bothersome, consider the alternative. Hindsight may be 20/20, but thinking twice and protecting your eyes will keep your foresight 20/20 too.