It's difficult to imagine a major event without fireworks. Americans spend $1 billion on them every Fourth of July. That doesn't even include New Year's Eve or other events, so it's safe to call those sparklers and Roman Candles cultural icons in their own right. Fireworks might look spectacular, but they're connected to 9,100 annual ER injuries every year.
Preadolescent children account for 36% of the damage. Every year there are 12 fireworks-related fatalities. You don't necessarily have to remove all that sparkly sky paint from your Independence Day events, though. You just need a few safety tips.
Eye Injuries and Fireworks
At Bridge Safety Vision nothing matters more to us than making sure your sight is protected. One in five fireworks injuries includes the eye. One in three ends in blindness, so it's surprising that only 10% of those seeking treatment had used protective eyewear. Most of the damage involves a corneal flash burn. The cornea acts as a protective window, so when it's affected, it can expose the delicate structure underneath to secondary damage. If the burn involves the tear ducts, dryness can cause its own injuries, so it's important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The first 30 minutes are crucial, so flush the eye in cold water, remove your contact lenses, put on a pair of sunglasses to prevent further damage, then proceed to your nearest emergency room.
You might have corneal flashburns if:
Combustible materials don't mix well with dry landscapes, so the first step to fireworks safety is choosing the right launching spot. Once you've cleared a safe area, practice standard safety tips:
Safety Glasses Guide
If you're committed to creating your own fireworks display, protective glasses are a necessity, not an option. Everyone in the vicinity requires protection, particularly the children in your audience. OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.133 standard was written with workers in mind, but it acts as a good guide for your fourth of July celebrations. This important professional standard suggests that your goggles must meet the specific conditions you're exposed to. There is, in other words, no one-size-fits-all solution.
Your July 4th safety glasses should offer you a wide vision field so that your eyesight isn't hindered by your frames. They need to protect your eyes from flying debris, so side protection is important to your long-term optical health. Scratch-resistant products will keep your vision clear—a particularly important facet if you're the one lighting the fireworks. Safety glasses should be shatter-resistant.
Protective glasses come in a variety of designs and shade levels. They also protect against different kinds of particles, from large, cool debris to small, hot particles.
They're offered in a range of mechanical strengths, including:
Every PPE product is designed for a range of different applications, including dust, liquid droplets, electrical arcs, gases, and hot solids.
If you usually wear prescription specs, you might feel tempted to wear your goggles over your existing lenses. Don't give in to it—specs and sunglasses can shatter, so they can cause more injuries than they prevent.
Buying the Right Products
No matter how OSHA-friendly your safety glasses are, your most important defense against eye injuries is handling firecrackers safely in the first place. They might be festive, but they're still explosive devices, so they need to be treated with respect. Choose products that are in keeping with the Office of Compliance and Field Operations. The FHSA stamp tells you that your fireworks were manufactured according to stringent regulations.
Most products that violate these standards entail overloaded fuses and other forms of fuse violations. These dangerous manufacturing failures are exceedingly common, so choosing non-compliant products may just invite permanent vision loss. The types of fireworks you choose are equally important. The most frequent offenders on the market are sparklers, bottle rockets, and firecrackers.
Responding to an Emergency
Water is a powerful elixir, even on July Fourth. That's why a bucket of H2O and a hosepipe should be kept at your launching spot at all times. You should irrigate a burned eye as soon as you can. If possible, rinse your eye for a full 30 minutes while you're on your way to the emergency room. Eye injuries can be deceptive, so don't judge the severity of your damage based on an absence of pain. Even severe ocular burns can cause mild to moderate pain.
The Bridge Safety Glasses Program
Bridge Safety Vision cares about optical health. It's right there in our name, so we've put together a program that makes PPE as accessible as possible. All you need to do is sign up. We'll handle the rest from your favorite Walmart Vision Center. With your hazard protection in place, we can finally wish you a thrilling Independence Day.