Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July is National Firework Safety Month!

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, typically the unofficial kickoff to the summer! How will you be celebrating America’s birthday?  Are you having a cookout or going to a picnic?  More than like likely your holiday celebration will culminate with a firework show.  Did you know that July is National Firework Safety Month?  Well it makes sense, fireworks seem to partner with the 4th of July like peanut butter partners with jelly and they sure are a big hit with kids and adults alike!  We have all seen the roadside firework stands that seem to pop up on every corner this time of year, perhaps you have stopped by one or two and picked up a few pinwheels and sparklers for yourself this year.

We hope you have a blast this July 4th but we feel obligated as your friend and a healthcare provider to remind you to please be careful!  According to the 2011 Fireworks Annual Report produced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “Fireworks were involved in an estimated 9,600 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2011”.  Furthermore, injuries to individual’s hands and fingers accounted for an estimated 46 percent of the injuries and it was also estimated that about 17 percent of the injuries seen occurred to individual’s eyes.  The point here is that fireworks can certainly be fun but they can also cause devastating injuries if not handled very carefully!

The folks with the American Optometric Association (AOA) took the time to put together a couple of tips to help protect you and your family over this holiday celebration.  Please have a happy and safe Independence Day!

The AOA recommends the following tips to help protect your eyes this Fourth of July holiday:

Discuss firework safety with children and teens prior to the Fourth of July holiday.
Do not allow kids to handle fireworks and never leave them unsupervised near fireworks.
Wear protective eyewear when lighting and handling fireworks of any kind.
Store fireworks, matches and lighters in a secure place where children won't find them.
Refrain from purchasing sparklers. Heating up to 2,000 degrees or hotter, sparklers are the number one cause of firework injuries requiring trips to the emergency room.
Be aware of your surroundings and only light fireworks when family, friends and children are at a safe distance.

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