Things You Should Know About Fireworks
Every July, thousands of people are rushed to the emergency room for injuries due to fireworks. Optometrists treat patients who suffer a wide range of fireworks-related injuries, from cuts and bruises to damaged corneas, retinas, and ruptured eyeballs. Surprisingly, most injuries are caused by legal fireworks such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles.
If you experience an emergency situation with your eyes, we can see you under your medical insurance plan. Often your specialist copay is much less than what it would cost you to go to the emergency room or Urgent Care. Most of the time the ER asks you to follow up with your regular eye doctor anyway!
If we aren’t open and you are having an emergency, that’s no problem! Please call the regular office number (215) 335-9090 and when you hear the recording, you can press 2 to be connected directly to Dr. Verna. She will return your call as soon as possible.
Here are some safety tips when working with fireworks, etc.:
- Wear protective eyewear when igniting fireworks: We recommend that every household have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear. Stop by any hardware store and pick up some safety glasses for the entire family.
- Don’t pick up duds and misfires: When a lit firework didn’t explode, Javonte McNair, 14, walked over and picked it up. The “dud” exploded, severing his hand and blasting hot debris into his eye, causing severe damage to his cornea. Keep a hose and buckets of water on hand for duds and misfires. Soak the dud from a distance with a hose or a bucket of water. Pick it up with a shovel and fully submerge it in a bucket of water to ensure it’s safe for disposal.
- Keep a safe distance: Bystanders are injured by fireworks as often as the operator. Stacy Young was 100 yards away when an illegal firework sent shrapnel into her skull. Ophthalmologists couldn’t save her eye. It had to be removed.
- Supervise children closely: Sparklers seem like harmless fun for the kids, but they are responsible for about 1,400 eye injuries each year. Even those tiny poppers or snappers can pose dangers. A ricocheting popper burned parts of five-year-old Nolan Haney’s eye and eyelid.
- Celebrate with the pros: The Fourth can be complete without using consumer fireworks. We advise that the safest way to view fireworks is to watch a professional show.