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Self-Care

Avoid Eye Injuries on the Fourth of July, Attend Public Fireworks Displays


Each year in the United States, consumer fireworks cause approximately 2,400 eye injuries. Of these, nearly one-third result in permanent eye damage, and one in 20 victims lose all useful vision or require removal of the eye.

In an effort to prevent these injuries, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the National Association of State Fire Marshals have launched S.E.E.! (Stop Endangering Eyes!) To strongly urge families to attend public fireworks displays instead of using fireworks at home this Fourth of July. The extent of the program can be seen in these statistics:

  • Of the approximately 12,000 fireworks-related injuries that occur annually in the United States, about 20 percent are eye injuries.
  • One-fourth of all eye injuries caused by fireworks are inflicted on bystanders.
  • Three-fourths of all fireworks-related eye injuries are to boys 13 to 15 years of age.
  • Bottle Rockets cause 67 percent of all fireworks-related eye injuries because they fly erratically and injure bystanders with showering fragments of glass and metal.
  • Sparklers, often given to young children, burn at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, and cause injury to the eye in 37 percent of sparkler-related accidents.

For more information, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology's website at www.eyenet.org, or the National Association of State Fire Marshals' website at www.firemarshals.org, or the American College of Emergency Physicians website at www.acep.org.

Copyright 1999 Health Resources Publishing


© 2000Health Resources Publishing