Fireworks Eye Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

June 29th, 2021

One of the joys of our mid-year Fourth of July is the beautiful visual displays of fireworks we enjoy. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, though, each year about 10,000 people add a trip to the ER for emergency care to their 4th of July celebration. About 15 percent of those trips involve an eye injury from eye ruptures to chemical burns and retinal detachment. At ICON Eyecare, leading providers of cataract and LASIK surgery in the Denver metro area, we want you to have a memorable Fourth of July this year and every year, without reflecting on how you could have avoided loss of vision, hearing, fingers, and other body parts.

Sparklers: Riskier Than They Look

The National Safety Council says that, surprisingly, 25 percent of fireworks ER visits are from sparklers, which along with firecrackers and other non-directional fireworks present a particular danger for eyes. Here are some tips for keeping safe if you’re around fireworks, and a few modern alternatives you might find amazing.

Eye Safety Tips for Personal Use

Eye safety glasses are essential for anyone near fireworks, professional or in states where they’re legal. Make sure you get the kind that are for lab work, protecting you from the sides as well as the front. If you experience eye injuries or burning eyes from the chemical smoke leave care to the experts, as it’s easy to do further damage, even by giving blood-thinning painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen. Immediately rinse the eye with an eye wash or saline but do not rub or try to remove any objects from the eye. Immediately seek emergency care to help preserve your vision and follow up with one of our eye doctors in the Front Range at ICON Eyecare.

Enjoy Live or Recorded Fireworks Using Modern Tech

If you’d like to enjoy fireworks at home, check out the large number of high-resolution videos from around the country, and the world, on YouTube. Enjoy them on your home theater system with 1812 Overture’s cannons booming through your subwoofer. For sparklers you can use indoors or outside try fiber optic wands, inexpensive toys that light the ends of dozens of optical fibers, creating a sparkling handheld light show.

Take it outside with an inexpensive video projector for evening fun during your picnic. You might consider adding speakers to get the full impact of cool, but safe theatrics. One more way to indulge — fireworks videos online including those created for VR headsets, including virtual reality gear like inexpensive “Google cardboard” types that use your cellphone for video. You can find yourself up in the air, among the fireworks, looking around in 360-degree amazement.

Keeping Your Eyes Safe in Colorado

Here in Colorado we often see eye problems due to smoke from wildfires during our hot, dry summers, so please be especially careful with fireworks and open fires. For fireworks injuries, burning eyes from smoke irritation, and other summer eye concerns, turn to our eye care specialists in the Front Range at ICON Eyecare.