the Eye Care Specialist
order to answer some of your general questions about eye care,
please send your questions to “Ask the Eye Care Specialist,” c/o
Education Update, 276 Fifth Ave., Suite 1005, New York, NY, 10001
or email: email@example.com. We will try to answer as many questions
as possible in this column. Specific diagnoses of eye diseases
or conditions cannot be made. The answers given in this column
must not take the place of your doctor’s advice.
of July Fireworks Safety for Eyes
by Betsy van Die and
Lori Brenig, MPH
Fourth of July celebrations can be a magic time for kids. Yet
that magic can be shattered if you don’t protect your eyes from
danger. Please consider the following fireworks facts:
Backyard fireworks are illegal in 16 states for a simple reason:
they’re dangerous for anyone but the professionals. Municipally
sponsored displays are much safer, and, generally more spectacular.
This is an important opportunity for adults to teach a sense of
responsibility to children by having them steer clear of the foolhardy
practice of playing with fireworks.
estimated 5,700 injuries were treated last year in hospital
emergency rooms during the one month period surrounding the Fourth
of July, 1,000 of which were eye-related. An astounding 45 percent
of total injuries were accounted for by children under the age
of 15. In 1999, 16 people lost their lives to firework accidents.
isn’t just bottle rockets and large fireworks that cause injuries.
Sparklers, which are sold to kids and adults virtually everywhere
in the months preceding the Fourth of July, can heat up to 1,800
degrees Fahrenheit. They are the third highest cause of fireworks
injuries necessitating trips to the emergency room. One victim
was a five-year-old boy who was killed by burns when sparklers
ignited in his pocket.
To receive a free copy of “Safe Summer Celebrations,” call 1-800-331-2020.
The booklet discusses the dangers of fireworks and offers safe
Betsy Van Die is part of Prevent Blindness America and Lori Brenig
is Program Director, Prevent Blindness New York, which is dedicated
to fighting blindness and saving sight through education, services
and research. Visit website at www.preventblindness.org/ny for
Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel:
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