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Fireworks season has started. Oregon Eye Specialists and the American Academy of Ophthalmology share tips to reduce the number of potentially blinding accidents this holiday.

Oregon Eye Specialists and the American Academy of Ophthalmology encourage you to be safe this Fourth of July.

Many people believe consumer fireworks are safe, but here is the explosive truth: Most injuries are caused by legal fireworks parents buy for their children, such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets and Roman candles. To help reduce the number of potentially blinding fireworks accidents this holiday, Oregon Eye Specialists and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are sharing these tips:

• Wear protective eye wear when igniting fireworks. Ophthalmologists recommend that every household have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear. Stop by any hardward store and pick up some safety glasses for the entire family.

• Don't pick up duds and misfires. Keep a hose and buckets of water on hand for duds and misfires. Soak the dud from a distance with a hose or a bucket of water. Pick it up with a shovel and fully submerge it in a bucket of water to ensure it's safe for disposal.

• Keep a safe distance. Bystanders are injured by fireworks as often as the operator.

• Supervise children closely. Sparklers seem like harmless fun for the kids, but they are responsible for about 1,400 eye injuries each year. Even those tiny poppers or snappers can pose dangers.

• Celebrate with the pros. The Fourth can be complete without using consumer fireworks.

"Consumer fireworks are a treasured part of Fourth of July celebrations, so it's easy to forget the dangers they can pose, particularly to the eyes," said Dianna L. Seldomridge, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "Please take our advice. We don't want to se3e you in the ER this Fourth of July."

If you experience a fireworks eye injury, ophthalmologists urge you to minimize the damage to the eye:

• Seek medical attention immediately.

• Do not rub the eye. Rubbing may make the injury worse.

• Do not attempt to rinse the eye.

• Do not apply pressure to the eye.

• Do not remove objects from the eye.

• Do not apply ointments or take pain medications before seeking medical help.

"My kids love fireworks," said Dr. Dinelli Monson of Oregon Eye Specialists. "I'm looking forward to having a blast, but I will be stressing safety for my kids, friends, patients and our community. Help me spread the word on how to protect yourself and have a fabulous Fourth of July." Oregon Eye Specialists , PC is a 14-physician ophthalmology and optometry practice with six clinics throughout Oregon, including one in Lake Oswego. Their providers are experienced in the full range of medical, surgical and vision eye care for all ages. Learn more online at oregoneyes.net.


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