Safety first when handling sparklers and fireworks
Sparklers and fireworks injuries are common during the festival of Deepavali, Halloween, Guy Fawkes, Christmas and New Year’s Eve when traditionally sparklers and fireworks form a part of the celebrations.
Unfortunately, their beauty and intrigue come with great potential to inflict damage to our eyes. Children aged 15 and under account for up to 50% of the total injuries caused by fireworks and sparklers.
In the most severe cases, sparklers and fireworks can cause chemical and thermal burns to the eye, with these injuries possibly causing permanent damage and vision loss.
So, when handling sparklers and fireworks, the following is recommended:
F- Focus on what you are doing when handling fireworks. Don’t be distracted.
A- Aim fireworks away from people and flammable materials.
C- Children should not handle or light fireworks.
E- Eye protection is important while handling fireworks and using sparklers.
D- “Dud” or failed fireworks are extremely volatile. Discard them safely, immediately!
If an eye injury from fireworks occurs, it is a medical emergency. Rinse the eye continually with tap water and seek medical attention immediately at an urgent care or emergency facility.
The Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital has an ophthalmologist on emergency call 24/7 if your healthcare professional needs support. You can call 033 812 2300.
– Dr Mark Harrison, Ophthalmologist