Thousands of Americans are already gearing up to enjoy Independence Day with barbecues, games, and fireworks this summer. Although fireworks are an exciting aspect of the holiday, they are also highly dangerous, especially to your eyes. Here are our tips for celebrating safely this Fourth of July!
Don’t purchase or use at-home fireworks
The best way to protect yourself and your family is to steer clear of
at-home fireworks. New Jersey laws limit the kind of fireworks you can purchase, so it’s safer to avoid them and enjoy a professional show instead!
Keep them out of kids’ hands
In 2020, children younger than 15 years old accounted for nearly 20% of fireworks-related injuries, making them one of the most at-risk age groups. Even with adult supervision for all firework and sparkler-related activities, they are still potentially vision-threatening. Never allow young children to hold, light, or play with any fireworks. And, don’t be nonchalant about sparklers. If one of those particles flies off the sparkler and gets into someone’s eye, the consequences could be severe.
Leave it to the professionals
If you love watching fireworks, there are plenty of professional fireworks displays happening throughout the state on the Fourth. Stream one online or find one to enjoy with friends & family in person and avoid the stress (and potential damage) that at-home fireworks can cause.
Take safety precautions!
If you choose to use fireworks this Independence Day, equip everyone in your home with protective gear (especially for your eyes!) and keep a safe distance. Bystanders suffer up to 50% of all fireworks-related injuries. Even when taking all possible precautions, there are still serious risks.
Your best option? Plan to attend a community fireworks show. Watch from at least 500 feet away and be sure to contact the nearest emergency medical services if an injury occurs.
In case of emergency…
Although your first instinct might be to treat a fireworks-related eye injury, this can actually worsen the problem! Instead, seek immediate medical help. Do not touch, rinse, or apply pressure to the eye for any reason and avoid using blood-thinning medication or applying ointment to the eye.
By taking proper precautions, you can relax and enjoy your Independence Day celebrations without worrying about the risk of eye-related fireworks injuries. Keep an eye out for your friends and family, and stay safe this Fourth of July!