July 4 can spark eye safety conversation with public

July 4 can spark eye safety conversation with patients

A surefire way to make patients' July 4 holiday sparkle is to educate them on eye safety.

According to a report released in June by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 12 non-occupational, fireworks-related deaths were reported during 2019. Fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,000 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms during 2019, including 7,300 alone that occurred during the one-month period around July 4.

And the most commonly injured parts of the body?

  • Hands and fingers (30%).
  • Legs (23%).
  • Eyes (15%).
  • Head, face and ears (15%).
  • Arms (10%).

"The best way to prevent eye injuries is by attending professional firework displays and wearing safety glasses whenever near fireworks," says Maria Richman, O.D., who practices in Manasquan, New Jersey. "If an eye injury does occur, stay calm and seek medical attention immediately from a local doctor of optometry or the nearest emergency room. Even mild injuries can worsen if treatment is delayed.

"Don't attempt to remove any objects/debris from the eye," Dr. Richman says. "Instead cover the eye with the bottom part of a plastic or foam cup to prevent rubbing the eye. Additionally, the use of rinses, eye drops or ointments could make the problem worse, so again, make sure to see an eye doctor immediately."

To help prevent eye injuries during fireworks season, the AOA recommends the following tips to help protect and preserve eyesight during the Fourth of July holiday:

  • Discuss fireworks safety with children and teens prior to the Fourth of July holiday.
  • Do not allow kids to handle fireworks, and never leave them unsupervised near fireworks.
  • Wear protective eyewear when lighting and handling fireworks of any kind.
  • Store fireworks, matches and lighters in a secure place where children won't find them.
  • Refrain from purchasing sparklers. Heating up to 2,000 degrees or hotter, sparklers are the No. 1 cause of firework injuries to children requiring trips to the emergency room. The CPSC reported that sparklers accounted for more than half of the total estimated injuries to children under age 5.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and only light fireworks when family, friends and children are at a safe distance.

Download and utalize a customizable press release to educate your community on the importance of fireworks safety (member login required).

July 1, 2020

comments powered by Disqus