Firework Season is nearly here!

on June 3rd, 2005 | Filed under Optoblog

Oh yes. USA’s Independence Day is celebrated by fireworks in most places. Even though the 4th of July is just one day, there is a whole firework season for a couple weeks before and after “The 4th.” I have personally seen 2 kids in my office that had a bottle rocket blow up on their eye. Even after all of the expensive surgical procedures, they were left legally blind. Very, very sad. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

However, there is an organization that hopes to spare us all from witnessing and/or experiencing this type of tragedy. Prevent Blindness America, as one of its noble missions, wants to stop blindness caused by fireworks. I agree.

HOWEVER, their policy is that all consumer fireworks (firecrackers, bottle rockets, sparklers, etc) should be BANNED. That’s right, they want to take away your fun. I’m pretty sure our Bill of Rights includes the right to keep and light fireworks for the two weeks surrounding Independence Day. (Those of us in Latin American culture can also use them during Christmas and New Years. 😉 )

Seriously, one could parallel the NRA vs. gun control arguments, but I’m not going to (if you outlaw fireworks, then only outlaws will have fireworks!). My argument is that as long as kids are supervised by a parent, and as long as everyone around is wearing safety glasses, then there shouldn’t be a problem with consumer fireworks.

They cite a story of some punk throwing exploding fireworks into a crowd, and an innocent young woman is now blind. How does that translate into a reason to ban bottle rockets? This punk should have been charged with assault just as if he would have thrown a knife or other injurious object into the crowd.

The real fact of the matter is that parents must be more involved with their children while lighting fireworks and should ensure everyone present is wearing safety eye wear. Every man, woman, and child in America should own and use safety eye wear since many of our activities, hobbies, and sports necessitate eye protection.

Use your common sense and ANSI Z87 eye protection this firework season. Happy (early) Birthday, America!

Post Script:
I personally have a great poster made by Prevent Blindness America hanging in each of my exam rooms. It shows a child with bilaterally taped and bandaged eyes with the caption, “Fireworks can really make a kid’s face light up.” It’s a year round reminder to my patients. The agenda of banning all fireworks is in small print at the bottom, so most people don’t (or can’t) read it since it is across the room.
The organization also has some useful first aid tips for anyone involved in a fireworks injury.

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Firework Season is nearly here!”

  1. I saw this at another practice’s website. It gives some good guidelines for fireworks.

  2. I miss the good load yellow and white checkered firecrackers when i was a kid with parental permission and supervision it made it fun to celebrate 4th of july and as a us. navy vet theres NO WAY I GIVE UP THAT FREEDOM FOR a Watered down version of watching them being done. Part of the FUN…. IS DOING them to and I encourage USA not to submit to MICRO managed lifestyle Use common Sense and Eye protection heck I even dampen my clothes wear long sleave shirt and a damp cap on my head and we have a SAFE fun 4th of July Give US back its Freedoms!!Parents need to supervise their kids to use things safely ITS THEIR JOB! Heck I can’t find them checkered firecrackers nowhere there gone and boy they were awesome someone needs to bring them back!!!THEY were about 2inches long and had a clay end and came in a rectangular carton allmost the size of a cigarette carton. Bring back The other goodies to and Just Be safe.Theres no replacing eyesight and fingers etc so use caution and make fuses burn longer and sell them to adults or kids only accompainied by a legal guardian or parent or adult relative. Also adults use some sense to and don’t try to use them as demolition tools!! Have A Happy Safe 4TH of July!!!
    Sincerly; Matthew Roberts PS Keep America FREE!!!!

  3. […] See another optoblog entry about fireworks. […]