1,300. That’s the number of firework related eye injuries reported in the month of July last year. And the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that number is up nearly 200% since 2011.
The problem seems to be that red-blooded American males are attempting to recreate grandiose firework displays for their friends and families in the comfort of their backyards, but are not taking necessary precautions when setting off their personal pyrotechnic extravaganzas!
The CPSC has reported that although eye injuries are very common during July 4th, only about 10% of “fireworkers” use protective eye gear such as glasses or protective goggles. So although you and your kiddos might feel a little ridiculous strapping on a pair of Bono shades when lighting up your sparklers, it is absolutely necessary in order to protect your patriotic pupils.
However, in the event that you forgo our advice, and your weekend backyard extravaganza results in an unfortunate eye injury, here are some practical steps from the American Academy of Ophthalmology to follow to reduce further damage to your eyes.
Their advice might surprise you, because it seems to go against our natural impulses when we hurt our eyes:
• Do not touch or rub your eye with your hands. If the eye is damaged, rubbing it can further alter the structure of the eye and make it more difficult to repair.
• Do not flush the eye with water or try to rinse it with an eye solution.
• If something is stuck in the eye, do not remove it.
• Immediately seek medical attention.