Watch the Fourth of July Fireworks Displays Safely

Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

Stop and think about your gift of sight and your gift of Independence this year before you or your children light those fireworks. One of the most precious gifts we have been given is that of choice. To choose whether or not to place ourselves or our families in danger, or observe the wonders those professional fireworks handlers can provide for us without risking hurting anyone. Thousands of accidents each year tell us that fireworks are dangerous. There are approximately 9300 fireworks-related injures each year, with nearly 2000 of those affecting the eyes. As many as 400 Americans loose vision in one or both eyes due to fireworks injuries.

Children, 15 and younger account for 50 percent of all fireworks injuries each year in the US. The typical victim is a teenager, at home, unsupervised, with a group of friends. Playing with fireworks, the chances are to great that one of them or an observer will end up in the emergency room with an injury to the head, eyes or hand. Injuring an eye or losing a finger is a tragic price to pay for a few minutes of fun with fireworks.

In an effort to reduce these preventable injuries, Panhandle Eye Group and Dr. Crnic especially encourage families to attend local public fireworks displays instead of using fireworks at home this July 4th. This recommendation is made as part of Fireworks Eye Safety Month sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Attending a professional public fireworks display is a safe and patriotic way to honor our nation, and have fun also.

"People do not recognize how dangerous fireworks can be when they are in inexperienced hands. As many as 400 Americans lose vision in one or both eyes due to fireworks injuries," said Dr. Crnic, your very own pediatric eye MD. "Even the heat of a seemingly harmless sparkler in the hand of a child burns through an eye so quickly. Vision loss is a tragic thing especially in a child. The risk of losing an eye is not worth the excitement of setting off fireworks."

Although illegal fireworks, bottle rockets and Roman candles account for the majority of injuries, sparklers also cause numerous injuries each year. Sparklers account for the most injuries to children under the age of five. Fascinated by the bright sparks, children find these sticks of fire - burning as hot as 1,800 degrees, hot enough to melt gold - irresistible to touch. All fireworks inside Amarillo city limits are prohibited for fire safety reasons as well.

Dr. Crnic wishes to remind you that, "The safest and most spectacular way to view fireworks is to attend a professionally produced, community sponsored display. Please celebrate safely. For your family and all of ours at Panhandle Eye Group"

-View public fireworks displays from at least 500 feet away
-Respect the safety barriers set up by the Fireworks Professionals
-Let the trained professionals light and maintain the fireworks displays
-Follow all rules and regulations of all firemen/ police/ and safety help during the displays
-Never touch unexploded fireworks

Have a safe and happy Independence Day! We are the most blessed country in the world for having had our military fight for our right to celebrate this holiday. Let's honor them and the United States by keeping our eyes and health safe to keep fighting for more independence!