Carlsbad Eye Care Releases Guidelines for a Safe Fourth of July Weekend

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Dr. Michael Tracy, ophthalmologist in San Diego, wants to help patients stay safe during the upcoming Fourth of July weekend by preventing serious eye injuries during celebrations.

Carlsbad opthalmologist Dr. Tracy

Carlsbad opthalmologist Dr. Tracy

Illegal fireworks can be very powerful and can cause serious injuries to the eyes and other parts of the body. Even traditional fireworks that you can buy need to be handled with care and caution.

Though Independence Day is a time for celebration, one must be careful when handling fireworks and other objects, as they can cause major damage if not handled properly. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, consumer fireworks during the Fourth of July weekend cause an average of 9,000 injuries annually, often to hands and eyes.

At Carlsbad Eye Care in San Diego, ophthalmologist Michael Tracy, M.D. is warning patients about the danger of fireworks, reminding patients that though they can be fun, fireworks are not toys, but objects that can be dangerous and unpredictable.

“Sometimes, people buy illegal fireworks without realizing how dangerous they can be,” says Dr. Tracy. “Illegal fireworks can be very powerful and can cause serious injuries to the eyes and other parts of the body. Even traditional fireworks that you can buy need to be handled with care and caution, as they can cause accidental injuries to the eyes if safety precautions are not followed.”

One way in which fireworks lovers can avoid dangerous eye injuries is by attending a professional fireworks show in lieu of at-home or neighborhood shows.

“Traditionally, professional fireworks shows are much safer than consumer fireworks,” says Dr. Tracy. “At a professional show, spectators are at a safe distance from the display, with firemen and other professionals nearby. As an added bonus, at a professional show, you can enjoy fireworks that are larger and more exciting than consumer-grade fireworks.”

For people who insist on using consumer-grade fireworks, Dr. Tracy advises the following safety precautions:

●    Wear protective eyewear: Fireworks can be unpredictable and cause major damage to the eyes, even if you are a safe distance away. Wearing protective eyewear can help ensure that your eyes remain safe during the festivities.

●    Do not let children play with fireworks: Fireworks are not toys, and children should not be allowed to play with them. Sparklers—fireworks usually marketed towards children—can cause serious burns and injuries if improperly handled. Sparklers and other fireworks can burn at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns.

●    Never touch unexploded fireworks: If a firework is lit but doesn’t explode, never touch it with your hands or go near it. Unexploded fireworks can be extremely unstable and unpredictable. If you have unexploded fireworks, please contact the local police or fire department, who can remove the fireworks safely.

“By following a few simple rules for general eye care, families can enjoy Fourth of July celebrations that are safe and fun,” says Dr. Tracy. “An eye injury is the last thing anyone wants when watching a fireworks celebration. Easy safety precautions can drastically reduce the risk of injury, ensuring that everyone has a great time on Independence Day.”

Dr. Michael Tracy is a Board-certified ophthalmologist. He completed his residency training in Ophthalmology at the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship in Corneal and Refractive Surgery at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. In his private practice at Carlsbad Eye Care, Dr. Tracy uses his expertise and knowledge to provide patients with the best eye care in San Diego.

To contact Carlsbad Eye Care, please visit or call (760) 603-9910.

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