Fireworks are a traditional part of so many Fourth of July celebrations around the Phoenix area. Every July 4th, emergency rooms and urgent care facilities see an increase of eye injuries. This year, more than ever before, we cannot stress the importance of staying safe and practicing eye safety when celebrating.

The following eye safety tips can help protect your eyes this holiday weekend.

Do Not Allow Children to Ignite Fireworks

All fireworks should be treated as dangerous. Do not allow your children to light them up, including sparklers. If you do allow your child to hold a sparkler, make sure that you supervise them. Because you cannot tell exactly where sparks will fly, we recommend wearing safety glasses or goggles when handling sparklers.

Wear Safety Glasses to Protect Your Eyes

When fireworks explode, they spew burning debris, sparks, and smoke. You are at a higher-risk of eye injury if you are lighting the fireworks because even the smallest piece of burning debris in your eye can cause serious injury. If you must light fireworks, wear safety glasses. If you are a spectator, whether at a home BBQ or you are attending an organized fireworks show, keep as much space as possible between you and the exploding fireworks.

Don’t Forget Summer Eye Safety

If you are attending a Fourth of July celebration and will be outdoors, do not forget to wear your sunglasses. You will want to protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging UV rays that can cause eye strain and increase your risk of developing certain eye conditions, like cataracts.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July, but do not forget to practice eye safety. If you do experience an eye injury, seek immediate medical care, and then contact Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 to schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors.