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Happy 4th of Jul-EYE

A Salute to Our Military and their families!  Thank you for dedicating yourselves to our country and our freedom!

As many of us make plans to celebrate our Independence Day this year we are mostly likely including fireworks as part of the festivities. It’s simply characteristic of the holiday and what a sight they are (from afar)!
Of course, it is only fitting for us to tell you of the safety concerns we have for our patients and their eyes while participating in firework activities.  For starters, the Consumer Products Safety Commission reported that nearly 11,000 Americans went to the ER during the weeks before, during and after the 4th of July last year. Sadly, bystanders and children are frequent victims. Most injuries are burns to the fingers or hands, but also many involve eye injuries.
 I remember my personal experience with a bottle rocket that came flying in my direction and popped right near my face. Fortunately, I covered my face and turned my body, however a couple tiny pieces of shrapnel did lodge in my arm. Thankfully not my eyes!

To help prevent eye injuries during firework season, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends the following tips:

What to do for a fireworks eye injury (according to Prevent Blindess.

If an eye injury from fireworks does occur:

    • Do not rub the eye. Rubbing the eye may increase bleeding or make the injury worse.
    • Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
    • Do not apply pressure to the eye itself. Holding or taping a foam cup or the bottom of a juice carton to the eye are just two tips. Protecting the eye from further contact with any item, including the child’s hand, is the goal.
    • Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain. Aspirin (should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing bleeding. Take the child to the emergency room at once – this is more important than stopping for a pain reliever.
    • Do not apply ointment. Ointment, which may not be sterile, makes the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.
    • Do not let your child play with fireworks, even if his/her friends are setting them off. Sparklers burn at 1800 degrees Farenheit, and bottle rockets can stray off course or throw shrapnel when they explode.

Be safe and Happy Forth of Jul-EYE!

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