The Fourth of July is around the corner, and as many families are gearing up for barbecues, local fireworks and other outside activities, the American Academy of Ophthalmology advises parents to keep their kids safe as well.
Each year, there are approximately 9,000 fireworks-related injuries, and 21 percent of these incidents are eye-related. In addition, more than half of these victims are children or young teens.
"Our eyes are very delicate, so a fireworks accident can be truly devastating," said Dr. Monica L. Monica, an ophthalmologist and clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Unfortunately, many Americans get caught up in the excitement of the Fourth of July, and forget that fireworks are also dangerous explosives. The safest choice is to attend a professional fireworks display. But if you really must handle fireworks yourself, make it a point to supervise children at all times, since they are particularly vulnerable to fireworks hazards."
The Academy of Ophthalmology suggests parents keep children away from sparklers and fireworks, watch the fireworks from at least 500 feet away and leave the lighting of the fireworks to professionals in an attempt to lower the injury rate.