For many Americans, watching the annual Fourth of July fireworks display has become somewhat of a family tradition. But there are risks to being situated so near to fireworks, especially for kids.
Fireworks-related injuries, as any eye doctor can attest to, have unfortunately become a mainstay of Fourth of July celebrations. In fact, an estimated 6,300 firework-related injuries happen each year between June 18 and July 18, with 20% of them being eye injuries.
But don’t let these statistics dampen your excitement for the Fourth of July. By observing a few safety precautions, you and your family can still enjoy a memorable and accident-free holiday.
The Institute for Control of Eye Myopia in Children, a top optometrist in the state, shares some eye safety tips for your kids below.
Never Let Your Kids Play With Fireworks
Never let your children play with fireworks, even small ones like sparklers, firecrackers and rockets. Sparklers might look safe enough, but they can easily reach temperatures of up to 1,800°F (982°C)—the melting point for gold.
Only Professionals Should Handle Fireworks
If you and your family decide to have a mini-fireworks display of your own, take the necessary precautions. First and foremost is hiring a professional to light the fireworks.
Fireworks Should Be at Least 550 Feet Away From the Crowd
Sparks aren’t the only thing you should worry about. The smoke from the ignition can irritate your children’s eyes and lungs.
Keep Your Kids Away From Unexploded Fireworks
Keep your kids close at all times. Other people may have been holding their own Fourth of July celebrations nearby, and your child might wander off and pick up an unexploded firecracker.
You can never know what might happen in these events. In case something untoward happens, don’t attempt to rinse, put ointment or pressure on your eye while you’re on your way to the hospital. Keep your eye doctor’s contact info in your phone.
To learn more eye precautions, consult a local eye doctor or a myopia control specialist.