Prevent Potential Injuries this Fourth of July EyeCare 20/20 Offers Tips for Fireworks Safety

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As the Fourth of July nears, it's important to remember to protect our eyes. Fireworks can be fun, but potentially very dangerous for amateurs. Each year, more than 9,000 people are injured from consumer fireworks. Be sure to read these tips on firework safety.

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“Potentially blinding injuries can be avoided if families attend a professional public fireworks display instead of putting on a home fireworks display," says Dr. Cary M. Silverman of EyeCare 20/20.

July is Fireworks Eye Safety Awareness Month, and Cary M. Silverman, M.D., Medical Director of EyeCare 20/20 wants to remind consumers to leave fireworks to professionals. “Too many Fourth of July celebrations are ruined because a child has to be rushed to the emergency room after a fireworks accident,” said Dr. Cary M. Silverman. “Potentially blinding injuries can be avoided if families attend a professional public fireworks display instead of putting on a home fireworks display.”

Each Fourth of July, more than 9,000 people are injured from using consumer fireworks, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of these, nearly 1,350 are injuries to the eyes, 25% of which result in permanent vision loss or blindness.

Children aged 15 and younger are the most common victims of firework accidents. Even seemingly innocent sparklers account for one-third of all fireworks injuries.

According to Dr. Silverman, “Among the most serious injuries are abrupt trauma to the eye from bottle rockets.” They fly erratically and often injure bystanders by throwing shrapnel. Injuries from bottle rockets can include eyelid lacerations, corneal abrasions, traumatic cataract, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage, rupture of the eyeball, eye muscle damage, and complete blindness.

Dr. Silverman and EyeCare 20/20 urge the observance of the following tips this Independence Day:    

-Never let children play with fireworks.
-View fireworks from a safe distance: at least 500 feet away or up to a quarter of a mile for safest viewing.
-Respect safety barriers set up to allow pyro technicians to do their jobs safely.
-Leave the lighting of fireworks to trained professionals.
-Follow directives given by event ushers or public safety personnel.
-If you find unexploded fireworks remains, do not touch them. Immediately contact your local fire or police departments.
-If you get an eye injury from fireworks DO NOT: rub, rinse, apply pressure, or apply ointment. Seek medical help immediately.

For creative tips on alternative ways to celebrate Independence Day with kids, see Prevent Blindness America's “Safe Summer Celebrations” brochure, which is free to parents.

To find Eye M.D.s in your area visit Consumers can submit questions about eye health to an ophthalmologist at http://

About EyeCare 20/20: Located in East Hanover, NJ, EyeCare 20/20 provides ophthalmic care for the entire family whether it’s routine vision correction or surgical intervention. Medical Director, Cary M. Silverman, M.D. specializes in innovative LASIK vision correction, state-of-the-art refractive cataract surgery, as well as an array of other refractive surgery options for patients who are not candidates for LASIK.

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Carrol Van Stone
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