Leave the Fireworks to the Professionals this Fourth of July

June 27, 2013 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment


     Once a year, we gather up our friends and family, fire up the barbecue pit, and celebrate the Fourth of July Holiday with food, fun, and laughter. Many of us wait in anticipation for the sun to  go down and the fireworks to light up the sky. As this Fourth of July holiday approaches, it is important to enjoy the fireworks as a spectator and let the professionals handle the fireworks.

     “Fireworks often have  extreme temperatures and  it is very difficult to control their direction,” said Dr. Alan D. Sampson, ophthalmologist and CEO of Creekside Medical Plaza. “Serious eye injuries can occur when families decide to create their own firework  shows.”

     According to the Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), eye injuries are among the most common of the 9,000 firework injuries that occur every year. Some of the most serious eye injuries include corneal abrasions, traumatic cataracts, retinal detachments, optic nerve damage, and rupture of the eyeball. All of these have the potential to lead to blindness.

     The AAO advises the public that the best way to avoid potentially blinding injuries is to attend a professional public fireworks display instead of creating your own . If you do decide to handle fireworks, the AAO suggests the following tips to help reduce the potential for eye injury:

•    Never handle fireworks without protective eyewear and ensure that all bystanders are also wearing eye protection.
•    Never let young children play with fireworks of any type. If older children are permitted to handle fireworks, ensure they are closely supervised by an adult and wear protective eyewear.       
•    Clear the area of flammable materials and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
•    Leave the lighting of professional-grade fireworks to trained pyrotechnicians.

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