We Americans love to celebrate our nation’s birth. Typical Independence Day activities include a long day at the beach, water sports, barbecues, and, of course, fireworks.

Great family memories from the 4th of July are no accident. They take careful planning both for the event itself as well as for the prevention of mishaps. To make sure your family memories of the 4th of July are all happy ones, be aware and be prepared.

Be aware that more injuries are reported during the few days surrounding Independence Day than at any other time of the year. Consider the following statistics.

  • Each year, over 10,000 Americans seek treatment in emergency rooms from fireworks-related injuries.
  • Nearly half of those 10,000 injuries occur during the July 4th holiday.
  • Nearly a third of these ER visits are for serious eye injuries caused by fireworks.

Fun And Games

Be prepared by taking precautions, starting with comfortable sunglasses for that long day in the sun to protect against the cumulative damage from sun exposure. But remember that eye protection shouldn’t end when the sun goes down. Since fireworks can shoot off incorrectly and unexpectedly, take the following precautions when using them.

  • Always have adult supervision.
  • Always wear protective eyewear. Even spectators, including children, should don protective eyewear during non-professional fireworks displays.
    4th of July Sparkler

    Remember to use eye protection while handling fireworks.

  • Only light fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at someone, not even in jest.
  • Never relight a dud firework.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after an event since some may still be ignited and could explode at any time.

In addition to these tips, be aware of what to do if an eye injury does occur. Consider the following recommendations.

  • Don’t touch or rub the injury, as this may cause even more damage.

  • Don’t flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it.

  • Cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, then immediately seek medical attention.

While Fireworks and Eye Injuries seem to go hand in hand, they don’t have to when you stay aware of the potential for injury, prepare to prevent them and know how to properly treat them.