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Prevent Blindness Northeast Region
Prevent Blindness Northeast Region Urges Public to Celebrate
Independence Day Safely without Using Fireworks
– Non-profit Eye Health Group Educates Public on Dangers of the Use of Consumer Fireworks –
Boston, MA (June 27, 2019) – The Fourth of July is quickly approaching and with that comes an increase in injuries related to fireworks. According to the latest report from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), an estimated 8,700 fireworks-related injuries (or 67 percent of the total estimated fireworks-related injuries in 2017), were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms around the Independence Day period.
In addition, there were eight reports of non-occupational fireworks-related deaths during 2017. Seven victims died from direct impacts of fireworks, and one victim died in a house fire caused by misusing a firecracker.
Massachusetts is the only state that bans all consumer fireworks, according to the American Pyrotechnics Association. Illinois, Ohio and Vermont allow only wire or wood stick sparklers and other novelty items. Across the country, many ordinances vary within each state and between different municipalities.
Prevent Blindness NE Region urges all consumers to celebrate the holiday safely without using fireworks, especially children. In fact, the CPSC states that children 10 to 14 years of age accounted for the highest rate of ER-treated fireworks injuries in 2017.
Prevent Blindness NE Region also warns that those who attend professional displays must still be cautious, as accidents and injuries may also occur due to the erratic or unpredictable nature of fireworks.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends those who are attending or live near a professional fireworks show to:
- Respect safety barriers, follow all safety instructions and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
- Do not touch unexploded fireworks; instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.
“Fireworks are part of the tradition of celebrating Independence Day for many Americans. Once again, we’re asking the public to celebrate in ways that won’t put them at risk for a trip to the emergency room,” said Paulette Tattersall, Director of Prevent Blindness NE Region and Co-Chair of Children’s Vision Massachusetts Coalition. “Please leave the fireworks to the professionals and remain vigilant, even when attending public displays.”
For more information on the dangers of fireworks, please visit preventblindness.org/prevent-eye-injuries-fireworks
About Prevent Blindness Northeast Region and Children’s Vision Massachusetts
Prevent Blindness Northeast Region is part of Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization, serving the states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screenings, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness
Children’s Vision Massachusetts, supported by Prevent Blindness, is a seventy member coalition of families, professionals from multiple disciplines and affiliations, whose mission is to facilitate the development of a state-wide plan to improve the visual health of children in Massachusetts. To achieve this, the coalition is working to raise awareness and create systems to assure that every child has a vision screening, eye exam, and ongoing treatment if diagnosed with a vision condition.
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