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Fireworks: How to Keep Your Eyes Safe

Posted on June 25th, 2019

Admiring a fireworks display, or setting off fireworks of your own, is a delightful and traditional way to celebrate special occasions.


However, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt—which is why FYidoctors is bringing attention to fireworks safety.


In the most recent study by the Public Health Agency of Canada, it was found that fireworks injuries peak around public holidays. Around 20% of fireworks accidents occur around Halloween, 15% on Victoria Day and 8.6% during Canada Day.


Roughly 34.3% of injuries occur at home. Burns are the most common type of injuries sustained, while the most affected part of the body is the head. Eye damage accounts for 20.6% of total injuries.    


Read on to learn how to prevent these injuries.


1. Beautiful from a Distance


A professional fireworks display can be an awe-inspiring show of bright flashing lights, colourful burst and delicate sparkles trickling through the air like stars. However, it’s integral to enjoy fireworks from a safe distance. Stay at least 150-metres away from the show and respect all safety boundaries.


2. Celebrate Without Consumer Fireworks


Although consumer grade fireworks are legal in many provinces, they are very dangerous to use and can result in irreparable eye damage or even blindness. Avoid the risk by viewing a professional show instead.


3. Never Let a Child Handle a Firework


This rule especially applies to sparklers. While an unassuming firework, sparklers burn extremely hot (more than 1,090 degrees Celsius). While anyone can be at risk of injuring their eyes while viewing or igniting fireworks, children and young adults are common victims. Keep all spectators at least 15-metres away from the area where you will be setting-off fireworks.


4. Never Touch a Dud


At their heart, fireworks are explosives and should be treated as such. A firework that does not ignite immediately could set-off at any time and cause serious trauma or eye injury. If you happen to be near a firework that does not work, do not touch it. Instead, contact the local fire or police department to take care of it. Keep bystanders away from the ineffective firework and have a fire extinguisher on-hand.


What to Do for Firework Injuries:


Eye injuries related to firework use can be caused by blunt force trauma, heat burns or chemical exposure. Any eye injury caused by a firework should be considered a medical emergency.


  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • Do not rinse your eyes.
  • Do not apply pressure to the injury.
  • 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, unless directed by a doctor.


For more eye safety tips, check out our blog or book an appointment at a FYidoctors location near you.