• By Jason Howland

Mayo Clinic Minute: Firework safety

June 28, 2019

Every Fourth of July, emergency departments see an influx of injuries caused by fireworks. Dr. Jose Pulido, a Mayo Clinic ophthalmologist, says the hands, face and eyes are particularly vulnerable.

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Light, and get away. That warning is on firework labels for a reason.

"Fireworks are extremely dangerous, and I’ve seen extensive damage to hands, face and eyes," says Dr. Pulido.

He says summertime, especially during the Fourth of July holiday, is when most firework injuries happen. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that firework injuries are responsible for more than 10,000 emergency department visits a year. And, many of those injuries involve the eyes.

"From just corneal abrasions, all the way to such extensive damage that we have to remove the eyes," says Dr. Pulido.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the following firework safety tips:

  • Do not allow kids to light fireworks.
  • Always have adult supervision.
  • Watch from a safe distance

"If you’re out, and you see somebody that gets injured, they should go directly to the emergency room," says Dr. Pulido.

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