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How to Safely Enjoy Fireworks This Summer 🎆

With 4th of July right around the corner, many of you may be planning to pick up some fireworks soon. June is Fireworks Eye Safety Month, so we’d like to encourage you all to exercise caution when it comes to fireworks celebrations. Fireworks are very dangerous - they can blind you or your loved ones. According to the AAO, Americans spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on consumer fireworks, which cause more than 9,000 injuries each year.

In the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's most recent fireworks injury report, it was revealed that fireworks caused 9 deaths and 11,500 injuries in 2021. Around 66% of firework injuries occur in the month around July 4th, with burns accounting for 44% of the 9,100 injuries treated in emergency rooms. Even sparklers can cause harm if not handled properly, accounting for about one quarter of firework injuries. Additionally, more than 19,500 reported fires are started by fireworks annually.

There is no completely safe way for nonprofessionals to light fireworks. The best way you can protect the vision of you and your family is to leave fireworks to the professionals, and to view them safely! 

The best ways to safely view fireworks are to:

  • Never allow children to handle or play with fireworks themselves

  • Avoid pointing fireworks towards another person, at neighboring houses, or other flammable materials

  • Use protective eyewear when standing near fireworks that are being lighted

  • Never light fireworks indoors

  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks

  • Consider using glow sticks! They are great alternatives and can be fun for all ages

  • Properly dispose of spent and unused fireworks by soaking them in water for a few hours before discarding

  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to quickly extinguish any fireworks that might not go off or in case of a fire

  • Protect your hearing by limiting the time of exposure and wearing protective hearing devices

One study showed that 65% of people injured by fireworks are bystanders, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. You are at risk of injury even if you're not the one setting off the fireworks. To ensure the safety of you and your family, watch professional fireworks displays from at least 500 feet away and always wear protective eyewear.

Your typical pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses are not protective enough when it comes to events like fireworks. Some types of eyewear you may want to pick up are safety glasses, safety goggles, and UV-protective sunglasses. Such glasses should meet standards for protecting against impact, debris, sparks, and/or intense light and glare. These will often include polycarbonate lenses, which are designed for impact resistance. Be sure to encourage all of those in your group to wear protective eyewear, especially children.

Prioritizing safety while watching fireworks can help prevent serious eye injuries and loss of vision. Fireworks can be exciting and enjoyable, especially for children. By planning ahead and using precaution, you can ensure these celebrations remain entertaining rather than harmful!

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