Health Watch - July Fourth: Fireworks

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about enjoying the Fourth of July safely. When we think of the Independence Day traditions, fireworks are probably at the top of the list. This is one tradition that’s best left to professionals.

About 11,000 people are injured by fireworks every year, and amateur fireworks account for about a third of all eye injuries. Dr. Preston Blomquist, an ophthalmologist at
UT Southwestern Medical Center, says injuries from amateur or backyard fireworks have caused people to lose vision or even lose their eyes.

Bottle rockets are some of the most dangerous fireworks. They may fly erratically, which puts spectators at risk from direct strikes by the rockets, and they can shatter the bottles or cans used to launch them, which sends dangerous shrapnel flying. Fireworks can also cause serious burns. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to go to a professional display.

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June 2010


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