The sights and sounds of a fireworks display are a traditional part of a 4th of July celebration. Unfortunately, fireworks can also lead to another annual tradition - a trip to the emergency room. Approximately 6,400 Americans are treated annually for fireworks-related injuries during the 4th of July holiday period. And of those, almost 1,600 are treated for injuries to the eye.
Every year, as many as 400 Americans lose sight in one or both eyes due to fireworks. We strongly encourage people to attend only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators. However, since fireworks are legal in South Carolina, we know there will be plenty of backyard fireworks for those wishing to celebrate at home.
Dr. Bodkin has these tips for those choosing to enjoy their own fireworks show:
- Always have adult supervision when lighting all fireworks
- Always aim fireworks away from people as well as away from other objects that my cause a ricochet or explosion
- Use eye protection when lighting fireworks
Dr. Bodkin also has these eye-opening facts about fireworks-related eye injuries:
- Children under 14 account for 45% of fireworks-related eye injuries.
- Almost half of fireworks injuries happen to bystanders.
- The fireworks that cause the most injuries are bottle rockets, firecrackers and sparklers.