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On Independence Day, Think Fireworks Safety First
Date:7/4/2008

the eye, but the percussive force causes damage."

Eyes also can be injured by penetrating debris from a fireworks explosion, or by a flying firework like a bottle rocket.

If you're a parent insistent on buying your own fireworks to set off, Stout urges you to at least put on some safety glasses. "I've had eye patients come to me whose vision was spared because they were wearing safety glasses," he said.

He recalled one case in which two brothers were standing near each other when a firework went off in their faces. One brother lost an eye. "The other brother, even though he sustained more of the blast, the glasses protected his eyes," Stout said. "He was fine."

Or, better yet, just go see the show at your local park.

"Clearly, the safest fireworks to watch are the biggest and most beautiful," Stout said. "You watch them from a distance, and they're just gorgeous."

More information

To learn more about hazards posed by fireworks, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.



SOURCES: Tim Stout, M.D., Ph.D., ophthalmologist, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland; Lorraine Carli, spokeswoman National Fire Protection Association, Quincy, Mass.; U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission


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