Nearly 6,000 Americans spent part of their Fourth of July holiday in the emergency room in 2009 due to fireworks injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Of those, fireworks caused an estimated 1,600 eye injuries. The injuries included contusions, lacerations and foreign bodies in the eye. Some injuries even caused permanent vision loss.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, “safe and sane” fireworks cause more injuries than illegal fireworks, especially to preschool children. For children under the age of 5, half of the total injuries were from sparklers. Children ages 15 and younger make up a significant number of fireworks injuries, accounting for 39 percent.
Prevent Blindness Texas supports the development and enforcement of bans on the importation, sale and use of all fireworks and sparklers, except for authorized public displays by competent licensed operators. We believe it is the only effective means of eliminating the social and economic impact of fireworks-related trauma and damage.
We encourage everyone to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday this year without using consumer fireworks.
Founded in 1956, Prevent Blindness is the state’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight.
For more information on fireworks safety, to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, or to request a free copy of the Safe Summer Celebrations brochure or the First Aid for Eye Emergencies sticker, call Prevent Blindness Texas at 1-888-98-SIGHT or log on to www.preventblindness.org/TX.
Whether you’re attending community events, family picnics or public displays by fireworks professionals, we wish you and your family a safe Independence Day.