As the 4th of July quickly approaches and the Iowa Senate considers a bill under proposal, which allows retailers to sell firecrackers, Roman candles and other fireworks, thought you’d find this information from the American Academy of Ophthalmology of interest. Currently the state allows sales only of sparklers and snakes. Do you think Iowa should change the law?

As the Fourth of July nears, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has noted an alarming trend: the number of eye injuries caused by fireworks has more than doubled over the last three years. The latest annual fireworks injury report issued Friday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that 1,300 eye injuries related to fireworks were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2014, up from 600 just three years ago.

EYE INJURIES FROM FIREWORKS

2014: 1,300 eye injuries
2013: 1,200 eye injuries
2012: 600 eye injuries

Fireworks can cause blindness or vision loss. Types of fireworks eye injuries include burns to the eye and eyelids, abrasions that can become infected and scar over, retinal detachment and rupture of the eyeball.

Poll: 90% of Americans Do Not Wear Eye Protection When Using Fireworks
Most fireworks eye injuries could be prevented by wearing eye protection such as shatterproof goggles available at many hardware stores. However, few take that simple precaution to save their vision and prevent potentially blinding accidents.
The 2015 Fireworks Survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology in San Francisco found that only 10 percent of U.S. adults wear eye protection when using fireworks. Yet 3 times that number wear eye protection to do other activities such as house cleaning or home repair.

Fireworks Eye Safety Tips for July 4

To enjoy fireworks safely this Fourth of July, the Academy recommends attending a professional display rather than using fireworks at home. Those choosing to use fireworks at home should always wear protective eyewear with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses even if watching as a spectator since many of those injured are bystanders. Never let young children handle fireworks, including sparklers, which can burn up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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