There are many ways to show our patriotism and the numerous freedoms our country provides, but one of the most highly anticipated celebrations of the year is the Fourth of July. As beautiful and goosebump-inducing as those red, white and blue fireworks displays can be, they also represent danger.
In anticipation of next July's bevy of bashes toasting America’s birthday, June is Fireworks Eye Safety Month — and we’ve got tips!
Know the Risk
There were more than 10,000 reported fireworks-related injuries in 2014, and a whopping 1,300 of those were eye injuries. From kids being too close to store-bought sparklers as they race around the backyard to adults hit by firework debris while attending huge city-run events, these injuries can happen anywhere, at any time.
Avoid the Amateur Pyrotechnic Shows
There’s a reason the government restricts the sale of some types of fireworks. Stick to safe, widely available, low-profile fireworks for home use, and wear protective eyewear while handling or viewing them.
Keep Kids Away
Even “safe” fireworks can be problematic in the hands of kids. Our little ones tend to be impulsive, and with tiny handheld sparklers that can heat up to literally thousands of degrees, you can’t be too protective.
Clean Up After
Soot, ash and other debris can transfer from your hands and clothes into your eyes long after the party’s over, negatively affecting your eye health. Once you’re done watching the fireworks or playing with poppers, wash your hands and see to routine eye care tasks such as cleaning your glasses or switching out disposable contacts.
Schedule Regular Eye Exams
Monitor your vision carefully, and if you notice any issues, schedule an eye appointment. Not all common eye problems come with easily recognized symptoms; regular exams give your doctor an opportunity to track changes and treat conditions as early as possible.
Protect your vision and make every month Healthy Vision Month with regular visits to Illinois Eye Center. Call (309) 243-2400 to make an appointment today.