Blog post

10 tips to protect your eyes this firework season

“Fireworks are great fun but enjoy them safely. Fireworks can cause blunt force ocular trauma, chemical and thermal burns. It’s best to attend a professional display if you can or follow all safety suggestions.”

Matthew Burford, OutsideClinic Professional Services Optometrist

Every year, in the UK, around 300 people suffer serious eye injuries because of accidents involved fireworks, and ten of them lose their sight.

That’s why we asked our team of mobile opticians to share some practical tips and tricks on how to look after our eyes during firework season:

  1. If you can visit an organised display – it’s the safest way to enjoy fireworks. It's critical to stay behind the barriers to prevent debris from entering your eyes and ensure your general safety.
  2. If you’re hosting your own celebration, it's essential to always wear safety goggles when handling and lighting fireworks to prevent debris from entering your eyes. They can be worn over your regular glasses.
  3. You should only buy fireworks that contain the BS 7114 mark on the box, indicating that they adhere to British standards.
  4. When lighting the fireworks, you should read the instructions carefully and use a taper to light the fireworks at arm’s length.
  5. After lighting a firework, move to a safe distance and ensure the firework has exploded before approaching again. Do not approach or touch unexploded fireworks.
  6. Have a bucket of water nearby which should be thrown on fireworks that haven't exploded.
  7. If you're enjoying sparklers, make sure you wear gloves because they're extremely hot.
  8. Always hold sparklers at arm’s length and dispose of them in a bucket of water once used.
  9. Do not give sparklers to children under 5 as they're not toys - sparklers can reach over 1,500 degrees.
  10. If anyone does suffer a firework eye injury seek medical attention immediately. Do not rub or rinse the injured eye or apply any ointments in the eye area. If you do, it could increase any damage and make it more difficult for a specialist to provide treatment.

When done carefully, fireworks can be a lot of fun for all the family, so whatever your plans are we wish you a great time celebrating with friends and family.

The insights and expertise shared in this article are brought to you by...

Matthew Burford BSc(Hons) Optometry MCOptom, Professional Services Manager at OutsideClinic

Matthew graduated from Aston University in 2004 before finding his passion for domiciliary eye care and joining OutsideClinic in 2005.

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