July 2, 2001
MEDIA CONTACT: Karen Blum
PHONE: 410-955-1534
E-MAIL: kblum@jhmi.edu

Hopkins’ Ophthalmologists Warn About Fireworks Safety

Ophthalmologists with the Eye Trauma Center at Johns Hopkins’ Wilmer Eye Institute urge Baltimore residents to attend professionally sponsored public fireworks displays this July 4 and not to experiment with fireworks at home.

July 4 and not to experiment with fireworks at home.

Fireworks are among the most popular and exciting ways to celebrate Independence Day yet also one of the most dangerous. Approximately 12,000 Americans are admitted to emergency rooms every year for fireworks-related injuries, either from misuse or malfunction, according to the United States Eye Injury Registry (USEIR). Nearly half of those injured are bystanders, and close to 400 patients lose vision in one or both eyes because of their injuries, the USEIR reports.

Sparklers, which are commonly thought to be "safe" fireworks and given to children, actually burn at up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit and can cause third-degree burns.

In case of an eye injury, do not touch, rub or press on the injured eye, the eye care experts say. Seek immediate care from an ophthalmologist or hospital emergency department.


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