Enjoy Fourth of July, avoid eye injuries caused by fireworks

ST. LOUIS_  On Wednesday, a plastic surgeon shared a horror story about St. Louisans who blew up their hands with fireworks. Did you know it’s possible to lose your eyesight as well?

Ophthalmologist Dr. Gil Grand tells us how to enjoy this holiday without any eye injuries.

Each year, thousands of people are injured by fireworks and almost half of those injured are children and teenagers. Many of those injuries were from small firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers.

Over one thousand of those are eye injuries.

Fireworks can cause devastating and life-changing injuries that range from skin burns and thermal burns of the eye to bleeding in the eye, retinal detachment, and even a ruptured globe and blindness.

Simple ways to protect yourself and your children include staying at least 500 feet away from fireworks.

Allow responsible adults to light fireworks and not for children to handle any fireworks by themselves, even sparklers.

• If you suffer an injury due to fireworks, especially to your eyes, seek help immediately:

o Do not rub the eyes
o Do not rinse the eyes
o Do not apply pressure
o Do not put on ointments or take any blood thinning pain medications (aspirin, ibuprofen)

• The best and safest advice is to leave the lighting of fireworks to the experts. Enjoy Independence Day by attending a city-sponsored safe fireworks display.

Fireworks Safety Tips – National Safety Council

• Older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision.
• Light fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials.
• Light one device at a time; maintain a safe distance after lighting.
• Do not allow any running or horseplay while fireworks are being used.
• Never ignite devices in a container.
• Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks; douse and soak them with water and discard them safely.
• Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don`t go off or in case of fire