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From Your Ophthalmologist’s Desk: Look Out for Firework-Related Eye Injuries This Year

The 4th of July is here this weekend, and that means gorging ourselves on burgers, hot dogs, soda, chips…pretty much everything but the kitchen sink!

But the food isn’t the only thing Americans get excited about on Independence Day. A long-standing tradition throughout the country, people set off fireworks into the night sky to celebrate the United States’ independence from the Motherland.

The New World was and is still something to celebrate. No matter the political side you stand on, everyone can agree that the 4th of July is the one day a year that brings the country together.

It’s also the one day a year that emergency rooms across the country see a major uptick in hand and eye-related firework injuries.

Being that you’re going to be lighting some fireworks yourself this summer, it’s a good idea to know where the nearest ER is in relation to where you’re setting fireworks along with having an ophthalmologist’s phone number saved in your phone. To double protect yourself, make sure the ophthalmologist you’re planning on seeing should an accident happen has business insurance for ophthalmologists; a responsible, professional and experienced ophthalmologist has this coverage to protect their patients as well as their practice, just in case!

Firework Injuries: They Take a Toll

Just last year, there were a total of 11,100 firework-related injuries in the U.S. Of that 11k, over 7,500 took place on July 4th.

As luck (or the lack thereof) would have it, most of the injuries involve children. The American Academy of Ophthalmology writes that while the “most disabling injuries occur with illegal firecrackers, most injuries are caused by legal fireworks parents buy their children, such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles.”

Firework safety is extremely important. A mishap can result in anything from a scratched cornea to the loss of an eye.

How to Prepare:

Don’t set off fireworks. Instead of buying fireworks, including sparklers, plan to attend a pubic fireworks show in your county or neighboring county.

Wear the proper clothing. If you do decide to buy and set off fireworks (making sure it’s legal in your county), wear the proper clothing. This means wearing close-toed shoes and not wearing loose-fitting garments. Legs and arms should be covered, and fireworks should be set off a safe distance away from other structures.

Keep lit fireworks pointed away from the body. Similar to gun safety techniques, you do not want a lit firework pointed at your face. It can cause serious bodily harm when it explodes.

Watch the sparklers.Safe Kids Worldwide tells parents celebrating the fourth with the kiddos that “little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees.” The heat can cause a burn injury, and if your child is holding the sparkler near their faces, they can burn their little faces and eyes.

Instead, Safe Kids Worldwide suggests that parents have their little ones use glow sticks to celebrate instead.

Visit CoverHound today for more safety and insurance tips. It never hurts to double-check that you’re covered in every situation!

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