NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

PROTECT YOUR EYES ON JULY FOURTH

July 3, 2008

Americans will celebrate this Fourth of July with food, pageantry and fireworks, says Dr. Emil William Chynn, a LASIK surgeon and advisor to the American Council on Science and Health. 

Although fireworks are a big part of this holiday, there are some concerning facts about their dangers that all Americans should be aware of, says Dr. Chynn.  For example:

  • Fireworks-related injuries cost Americans $100 million each year.
  • Each year, over 10,000 Americans seek treatment in emergency rooms and almost a dozen people die from fireworks-related injuries.
  • Nearly half of these injuries occur during the July 4th holiday weekend.
  • Nearly a third of these ER visits are for serious eye injuries, and some 33 percent of ocular fireworks injuries result in a permanently blind eye.
  • With nearly 50 percent of the victims being children, about seventy-five children lose an eye each July 4th weekend due to fireworks.

Bottle rockets are especially dangerous, says Dr. Chynn:

  • Although they account for only a fraction of all fireworks, bottle rockets caused 70 percent of all ocular fireworks injuries in 2000 -- half resulting in blindness.
  • In a seven-year analysis by the Eye Injury Registry of Alabama, bottle rockets accounted for 100 percent of fireworks injuries requiring surgical removal of an eye.

Source:  Emil William Chynn, "Protect Your Eyes on July Fourth," American Council on Science and Health, June 30, 2008.

For text:

http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.1172/news_detail.asp  

 

Browse more articles on Health Issues