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This 5th November - Remember, remember, look after your eyes

As Brits head to firework displays this bonfire night, we want to raise awareness of the dangers the firecrackers hold.

In 2018 almost 4,500 individuals* attended A&E because of an injury caused by a firework.  Most of these incidents are a result of mishandling of the fireworks. Common injuries that doctors deal with every bonfire night include blistering burns, hearing damage and in some cases, blindness.

Fireworks can also be detrimental to the eyes with the explosives causing burns to the eyelids, burns to the outer window of the eye known as the cornea, severe abrasions that result in infections and scarring, retinal detachment and potentially rupture of the eyeball.

Whilst home firework displays are popular, they can also be dangerous without proper supervision. Over 10 people a year lose their eyesight and 300 serious eye related injuries occur as a result of accidents caused by fireworks. Nearly three quarters of injuries sustained on bonfire night are by adults at private firework parties.**

Amy Laux, Clinical Governance Manager said: “Bonfire night is a lot of fun and sometimes Brits can get caught up in the excitement of the event, leading them to forget about their eyes.

“The safest way to view fireworks is at a public display, these have safety procedures in place to ensure the fireworks do not get out of control. If you are hosting your own bonfire party ensure to follow the correct and most up to update safety procedures. Anyone who does suffer an injury should seek urgent medical attention. Do not rub or rinse your eyes.”

We have compiled the following tips to stay safe this 5th November.

 

Wear protective eyewear

Wear polycarbonate lenses when lighting fireworks. These durable glasses are up to ten times more resistant than ordinary glasses.

Buy fireworks which meet the British standard

When buying fireworks, make sure they conform to the British Standard (BS 7114). This will be clearly marked on the packaging.

Light fireworks at arm’s length

Ensure the firework is lit at arm’s length. Make sure you never return to a firework which has been lit but did not go off, it could still explode.

Supervise children

Young children are at risk of injuring themselves at a fireworks display. Optical Express recommends forbidding children from running or playing anywhere near the fireworks.

Be careful when using sparklers

Sparklers can heat up to 2,000 degrees – enough to melt gold and can cause severe burns if handled incorrectly.

 

 

 *https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46071940

**https://www.eyecaretrust.org.uk/view.php?item_id=627

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