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June 2000  -  Volume 3  -  Issue 4

Fireworks Safety

Prevent Blindness America warns that there is no safe way for nonprofessionals to use fireworks. It is only safe to enjoy the splendor and excitement of fireworks at a professional display.

If an accident does occur, what can you do right away to minimize the damage to the eye? These eight actions can help save your child's sight.

  1. Do not delay medical attention even for seemingly mild injuries. "Mildly" damaged areas can worsen and end in a serious vision loss, even blindness.
  2. Stay calm, do not panic; keep the child as calm as possible.
  3. Do not rub the eye. If any eye tissue is torn, rubbing might cause more damage.
  4. Do not attempt to rinse the eye.
  5. Shield the eye from pressure. Tape or secure the bottom of a foam cup, milk carton against the bones surrounding they eye: brow, cheekbone and bridge of the nose.
  6. Avoid giving ibuprofen, it thins the blood and might increase bleeding.
  7. Do not apply ointment or any medication to they eye. It is probably not sterile. Also, ointments make the eye area slippery. This could slow the doctor's examination at a time when every second counts.
  8. Above all, do not let your child play with fireworks. Even sparklers are dangerous. They burn at up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot enough to meld gold.

Excerpt reprinted with permission from Prevent Blindness America Copyright 2000. Visit their website for more information at

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