Fireworks Safety

For Immediate Release

May 25, 2010

Leave Fireworks to the Professionals this Fourth of July
NAEPS Offers Tips for Fireworks Safety

Nebraska – Each Fourth of July, thousands of people are injured from using consumer fireworks. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 9,000 fireworks-related injuries happen each year. Of these, nearly half are head-related injuries with nearly 30 percent of these injuries to the eyes.  One-fourth of fireworks eye injuries result in permanent vision loss or blindness.

July is Fireworks Eye Safety Awareness Month, and the Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons wants to remind consumers to leave fireworks to professionals. “Too many Fourth of July celebrations are ruined because a child has to be rushed to the emergency room after a fireworks accident,” said Tom Graul, MD, a clinical correspondent for the Academy. “Potentially blinding injuries can be avoided if families attend a professional public fireworks display instead of putting on a home fireworks display.”

Children are the most common victims of firework accidents, with those fifteen years old or younger accounting for half of all fireworks eye injuries in the United States. For children under the age of five, seemingly innocent sparklers account for one-third of all fireworks injuries. Sparklers can burn at nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause a third-degree burn.

“Among the most serious injuries are abrupt trauma to the eye from bottle rockets,” according to Dr. Graul. The rockets fly erratically, often injuring bystanders. Injuries from bottle rockets can include eye lid lacerations, corneal abrasions, traumatic cataract, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage, rupture of the eyeball, eye muscle damage, and complete blindness.
For a safe and healthy Independence Day celebration, the Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons urges observance of the following tips:

  • Never let children play with fireworks of any type.
  • View fireworks from a safe distance: at least 500 feet away, or up to a quarter of a mile for best viewing.
  • Respect safety barriers set up to allow pyrotechnicians to do their jobs safely.
  • Leave the lighting of fireworks to trained professionals.
  • Follow directives given by event ushers or public safety personnel.
  • If you find unexploded fireworks remains, do not touch them. Immediately contact your local fire or police departments.
  • If you get an eye injury from fireworks, seek medical help immediately.

Find Eye M.D.s in your area or ask an Eye M.D. a question by visiting www.GetEyeSmart.org. Consumers can submit questions about eye health to an ophthalmologist at http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/ask/

Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 12, 2010

Contact: Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons

New Consumer Information Now Available on American Academy of Ophthalmology’s

EyeSmartTM Web Site

New and expanded content provides the public with a comprehensive source for all eye health information in both English and Spanish

Is pink eye really contagious?  Am I sitting too close to my computer screen? When should my child get their first vision screening? The answers to these and many other common questions are now available on the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (Academy) EyeSmartTM Web site, the Web source for credible, evidence based information that patients can trust. An extended range of patient information is also now available in Spanish.

“The EyeSmart Web site is an all-inclusive source for timely and relevant eye health information that helps consumers take charge of their eye health,” said David W. Parke II, MD, CEO of the Academy. “Our goal is to provide the most useful and accurate information on the Web, developed by ophthalmologists and providing the best resources available to the public.”

In recognition of Healthy Vision Month, the Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons reminds consumers that learning to care for your eyes is the key to enjoying a lifetime of good vision. The new EyeSmartTM Web site includes over 100 pages of new content, making it the essential guide for anyone who needs eye health information. Whether it’s age-related eye diseases, eye injury prevention or eye infections, you can find it in one reliable place.

Take a peek at some of the new EyeSmart Web site features:

  • Your Eyes at Every Age, an in-depth look at eye health from birth through the senior years including visual changes that can occur during pregnancy.

Your Eyes in a High-Tech World, providing valuable information for those who find
themselves spending the majority of their time on computers, PDA’s and other electronic devices.

  • Ongoing research shows that a diet high in certain nutrients may be linked to better eye health. A Feast for the Eyes provides essential and up to date information on choosing foods rich in eye-healthy nutrients and on supplements that may help with age-related eye diseases.
  • Ask an Eye M.D., The Academy’s free public service, responds to people’s selected questions, with replies posted EyeSmart. In addition to recently answered questions posted, answers on all topics are available in a searchable archive.

To view all the new content and for more information about eye health, visit www.geteyesmart.org.