Backyard Fireworks Are the Cause of Most July 4th Eye Injuries

BREAKING NEWS: Every year, about 10,000 people are rushed to the emergency department for fireworks injuries. Even for those who take all the right precautions, a split second of poor judgement can cost them their vision and sometimes even their life.

Ophthalmologists like Sandy Feldman MD, Medical Director of Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center in San Diego, have good reason to dread the Fourth of July. According to the latest U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission data, about 9,000 fireworks-related ER visits in 2016 were for eye injuries. Damage ranged from cuts and bruises to serious injuries to corneas and retinas, some resulting in permanent vision loss.

"Even those innocent-looking sparklers that kids love so much can burn at 2,000 degrees," said Dr. Feldman. “Just because they’re small doesn’t mean they’re safe. In fact, most eye injuries are caused by ‘backyard fireworks’ such as sparklers, bottle rockets, firecrackers and Roman candles.”

WHY THIS IS TIMELY: Independence Day is just around the corner and people are already planning their celebrations. The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that the safest way to view fireworks is to watch a professional show. For those who choose to set off their own fireworks, the Academy recommends wearing protective eyewear, making sure children are supervised at all times, and keeping a hose and buckets of water on hand for duds and misfires.

In the event of a fireworks-related eye injury, Dr. Feldman advises:

  • Seek immediate medical attention
  • Avoid rubbing or rinsing the eyes or applying pressure
  • Don’t do anything, including taking pain medication, before seeking medical help 

"Fireworks are fun but they’re also very unpredictable,” said Dr. Feldman. “My advice is to leave the fireworks to the professionals and just have a nice Fourth of July picnic!”

WHO CAN TELL YOU MORE: Dr. Sandy Feldman, one of the nation’s most respected ophthalmologists and LASIK experts.

CONTACT ME: I can arrange an interview with Dr. Feldman to discuss this or any other eye-related topic. Contact Diana Soltesz at [email protected] or 818-618-5634.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Sandy T. Feldman, MD is the Medical Director of Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center voted best LASIK center in San Diego by the San Diego Union Tribune (2016 and 2017) and CityBeat Magazine two years in a row. Her numerous awards include “Top Doc San Diego” and the Goldline Award, an honor granted to only 10 laser eye care providers in the U.S. each year. She has also been profiled in Forbes, Newsweek, and other respected publications. Dr. Feldman is a fellow of the prestigious American College of Ophthalmic Surgeons, as well as a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. She has successfully performed more than 20,000 refractive procedures. For more information, visit clearvieweyes.com.