Each year thousands of people sustain eye and eyelid injuries from fireworks. While this is certainly more common in states where fireworks are readily available, they still do occur even here in Southern California. These injuries can be devastating and result in blindness and/or the need for eye removal. The American Academy of Ophthalmology provides public service announcements annually just before the 4th of July. Even the smallest eye injury can result in vision loss. It is important to have a board-certified ophthalmic surgeon evaluate patients who have had eye injuries from fireworks. Parents need to be very vigilant during the next few days, as injuries from fireworks can occur within seconds and can impact the child’s entire life. From sparklers, bottle rockets, M-80s, and Roman Candles, every children’s hospital has seen the devastating eye injuries that can be caused by these fireworks.
Hopefully as we increase public awareness of the risks of these fireworks, the incidence of eye injuries and the need for emergency eye or eyelid surgery will decrease.