Fireworks and Eye Safety

We care about your eye safety at Artisan Optics Boise Idaho


It's almost that time of year again, our nation's birthday, the 4th of July! What a great time of year! It's summer time so people are out being active, floating the river, having barbecues, watching parades, riding their bikes, and enjoying fireworks. Fireworks are a unique blend of danger, beauty and excitement. Fortunately and unfortunately, your eyes can be on the receiving end of both the beauty and the danger.


Be responsible when using fireworks and use eye protection.


It is believed that fireworks were an accidental creation by Chinese alchemists. The Chinese used fireworks to ward off evil spirits and as a weapon in battle. Now fireworks are used world wide for celebrations. It's not just snakes and sparklers; there are a variety of fireworks ranging from hand-held fireworks, ground firecrackers, flying firecrackers, and aerial shells. Pyrotechnic engineers have developed a variety of ways to blow things up in a beautiful way.


All of these types of fireworks have a dangerous side and it is important to remember this holiday season.


Following specific safety protocols is important to keep you, your friends, and your family safe. The National Council on Fireworks Safety recommends the following tips to help keep you safe(1):

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.

  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.

  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.

  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.

  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.

  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.

  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.

  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.

  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.

  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.

  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

Firework-related injuries can range from mild to death and half of the time the person being injured is a by-stander and not the person lighting the fireworks. Eye injuries are very common with fireworks, 20% of firework related injuries are eye injuries. To make that number even scarier - 40% of these injuries occur in children under the age of 15. Young children under the age of 5 are mostly injured by using sparklers. While sparklers seem harmless they burn at very high temperatures (above 1200 degrees Fahrenheit). Most people when using a sparkler wave them around or run around. This is not advised, consider you are holding onto a fireball! Similar to scissors, you shouldn't run with scissors or sparklers!

Damage to the eye can be severe. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology fireworks can cause many sight-threatening injuries such as:

Wearing protective eye wear can help prevent many of these injuries. If an eye injury does occur it is important to follow the following protocol established by the American Academy of Ophthalmology to prevent further damage (2).

  • Seek medical attention immediately.

  • Do not rub your eyes.

  • Do not rinse your eyes.

  • Do not apply pressure.

  • Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.

  • Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.


For most people in the Treasure Valley, they woke up to a very smokey morning and a very charred Table Rock. This brings up another important aspect of fireworks and the summer fire season. Poor decisions with fireworks can result in wild fires in our area. As the air quality drops your eye discomfort rises (especially those who wear contacts). Even though your eyes are red, do NOT go for the 'get the red out drops'. Work with your eye doctor to find a solution for your irritated eyes.


This blog is not meant to be a damper on the holiday but more information to keep you safe and out of the emergency room this holiday! Enjoy the fireworks but in a safe manner! The flag is red, white, and blue, let's keep this color combo out of your eye! Happy 4th of July!

Enjoy your holiday and be safe from all of us at Artisan Optics Boise Idaho






Posted by Artisan Optics at 6/30/2016 6:46:00 PM
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