Most types of fireworks are not legal in North Carolina, but during the summer, you may travel to an area in which they are legal and decide that you would like to set some off. The month of July is a popular time for fireworks due to the warm weather and the Independence Day holiday. Unfortunately, careless handling of pyrotechnics can lead to serious eye injuries. As a matter of fact, during the two weeks before and after July 4th, fireworks-related injuries can send 280 people to the emergency room per day.
Even more alarmingly, according to WebMD, the number of fireworks-related injuries to the eyes reported per year is on the rise. Between 2016 and 2017, the reports of injuries nearly doubled from 700 to 1,200. A significant number of these injuries affect children.
A professional pyrotechnic display is the safest way to watch fireworks. However, if you choose to set off your own, and are in an area where it is legal to do so, you should know how to protect yourself and your family from fireworks-related eye injuries.
1. Wear protective eye gear
This applies not only to the one lighting the fireworks but to the whole family and all other spectators. Choose safety glasses with the approval of the American National Standards Institute.
2. Supervise children at all times
Snappers, poppers and sparklers appear harmless, so much so that parents tend to get careless when their children are using them and not supervise as closely as they should. Nevertheless, sparklers alone cause approximately 1,400 eye injuries per year. Parents could reduce that number by paying closer attention to what their children are doing.
3. Keep your distance
Sixty-five percent of fireworks-related injuries occur in bystanders who were too close to the display. Check the packaging before igniting to see if there are instructions or recommendations regarding what is a safe distance to maintain and what is in the danger zone.
The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.