Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fireworks Safety July 4th - Essential Tips to Protect Kids & Adults Eyes, Avoid Injuries


Backyard & Public Fireworks Celebrations

It's a known fact: fireworks can cause all kinds of serious injuries, including eye damage and blindness -- sometimes even when it's not the victim's fault.  A case in point is a 13-year-old boy who had eye surgery at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami after being seriously injured in a fireworks accident. All the boy was doing was simply riding his bicycle in the neighborhood when someone deliberately threw a lit firecracker at him.


"Consumer-purchased fireworks such as sparklers, firecrackers, and bottle rockets, are extremely dangerous when it comes to eye injuries," says Basil K. Williams, M.D., Chief Resident at Bascom Palmer. Each year more than 9,000 injuries are caused by pyrotechnics and hundreds of kids and adults end up with severe fireworks injuries and burns. Common eye injuries include burns, lacertations, abrasion, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and ruptured eyeballs. Even sparklers can blind you, so they are not toys and young children should not be allowed to handle them."


Eye Safety Tips for Handling Fireworks

It goes without saying that you should only purchase legal consumer fireworks and use them only where they are permitted. 

In addition, Bascom Palmer offers these ideas for eye injury prevention
  • Never allow young kids to play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers
  • Everyone handling or watching fireworks as bystanders should always wear protective eyewear
  • Older children must also be closely supervised when using fireworks and should never be left without a responsible adult present
  • Have a bucket of water or garden house standing ready to use in an emergency in case of fire or flames
  • Do not relight or handle a malfunctioning firework, instead soak them with water and dispose of properly
  • To avoid a trash can fire, be sure to thoroughly soak all fireworks that have completed burning before throwing them out


If you are attending a public fireworks display show
  • View the display from no closer than 500 feet
  • Respect all established safety barriers
  • Follow all directions from firemen, police and other security personnel
  • Do not touch unexploded fireworks

  • Seek medical attention immediately, calling 911 if necessary
  • If any particles get into the eye, never touch or rub it
  • DO NOT rinse the eyes
  • DO NOT apply any ointments to eye or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin
  • If a sharp object enter the eye do NOT pull it out, instead put a loose bandage on the affected eye without applying pressure and go to the hospital emergency room immediately.
About Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami School of Medicine is ranked among the nation's best in ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report. For additional information visit bascompalmer.org or call 800-329-7000. 

Best Wishes for a Safe &
Happy Fourth of July


FTC Disclosure: No compensation has been exchanged in association with this story. Readers should keep in mind that this blogpost is not a substitute for advice by a qualified medical professional or your choice. See complete FTC Disclosure that appears at the bottom of MBE's home page and at the bottom of every individual post including this one.


  1. I'm always very careful around fireworks. I make sure that my girls are far away from them when they're being lit. We sit in the car often because my oldest doesn't like the loud noise either. I think it's so important to be careful with fireworks.

  2. These tips are perfect timing for the 4th of July. I see kids play with sparklers and all I can think of is that they are going to burn themselves or get a spark in their eyes!

  3. These are great tips for fireworks. I went to a public show a few years ago and had shrapnel fall on us. we were okay but it was still scary.

  4. I always bring ear protection for the little ones. It can be so loud it is easy to get scared.

  5. We love going to the fireworks. I always pack some snacks and bug spray. Once it gets dark the bugs always come out.

  6. These are great tips for the fourth of July. I never understood why people bring dogs to the event. It is always so loud I feel bad for them.

  7. These are such important safety tips. I remember as a kid being given sparklers all the time. I was kind of scared of them but I had no idea they were dangerous for kids.

  8. We might actually have a ban on fireworks here because it has been so dry out!! I hope my neighbors oblige because there fireworks sometimes hit my property.

  9. It was important to share this information. All too often, people think of the good fun of fireworks, not the potential dangers.