The sights and sounds of a fireworks display are a traditional part of a Fourth of July celebration. Unfortunately, fireworks can also lead to another annual tradition – a trip to the emergency room.

Approximately 6,400 Americans are treated annually for fireworks-related injuries during the Fourth of July holiday period. And of those, almost 1,600 are treated for injuries to the eye.

Every year, as many as 400 Americans lose sight in one or both eyes due to fireworks. We strongly encourage people to attend only authorized public fireworks display conducted by licensed operators, like our very own Red, White and Boom.

The following are some eye-opening facts about fireworks-related eye injuries:

• Children under 14 account for 45 percent of fireworks-related eye injuries.

• Almost half of fireworks injuries happen to bystanders.

• The fireworks that cause the most injuries are bottle rockets, firecrackers and sparklers.


Ahwatukee Foothills resident Dr. Alex Smith owns and practices at Lifetime Eye Care, 3961 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 106, in Ahwatukee. He is an adjunct assistant clinical professor for the Pacific University College of Optometry.


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