Keep your eyes safe around fireworks - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Keep your eyes safe around fireworks

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Fireworks can be fun and pretty to look at, but can also be dangerous if you’re not careful.

Before you shoot them off for your July 4th celebration, Heartland News talked to a few eye specialists on what to do.

Dr. Greg Leet at Leet EyeCare said doctors see thousands of injuries each year from fireworks, and about a third of those are to the eyes.

Leet said a lot of times the injuries are seen in kids under the age of 15, and about half are to bystanders.

Leet and Dr. Alan Branson at Eye Care for You said fireworks can cause minor eye injuries all the way to permanent blindness.

“Don’t just go over and act like it’s a dud, assume it’s live, and when you get to it, come at it more at an angle away from your face, so that when you go you can kick it over and knock it over away from you and away from people.”

"It's not going to be by the hundreds, but we will certainly get 3 or 4 phone calls we always do,” said Leet.

"You don't want to be that person, you don't want to be the guy that 'Oh wow that just freakily happened, but it happened to me.' You don't want to be that guy, and so it's just always nice to be a little more on the safe side, on the careful side just because things happen and you don't want to be the person in the hospital losing an eye because of a lack of judgment,” said Branson.

The doctors suggest a few tips like wearing safety glasses or goggles. Hold the fireworks away from your face, and don’t stand over a firework.

“Fireworks are pretty when they go off, but the injuries they give you are not pretty,” said Branson.

“Not only can you get injuries, but you can get injuries that are severe, even lead to permanent blindness,” said Leet.

The doctors said if you do get something in your eye flush it out with water, not allergy eye drops which can irritate it more.

“If you get hit, usually the best thing to do is start flushing it out with water, get water immediately, and just keep putting water in it,” said Branson.

“If you get a lot of pain and it’s red and uncomfortable then you’re probably going to need to get someone to take a look at that,” said Leet.

Leet EyeCare also has a 24-hour emergency number at 573-225-6625.

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