Timely advice for my first blog comes from the Eyecare Trust who have issued the following eyecare alert for Bonfire Night;
Every year 10 people in the UK lose their sight and 300 people suffer serious eye injuries as a result of accidents caused by fireworks. And, it’s not just children larking about that are at risk – three quarters (73%) of serious ocular traumas are sustained by adults and most (45%) occur at private parties (1,2).
Rockets take first place in the danger stakes accounting for more than a third (36%) of all serious eye injuries, but also flying high on the dangerous firework list is the innocent sparkler. Although sparklers are often thought to be one of the safest fireworks, they burn at temperatures up to 2000oC – hot enough to melt gold.
For everyone’s enjoyment, follow the Eyecare Trust’s SPARKLER code for a safe and injury free Bonfire Night:
Shield your eyes with protective eyewear when lighting fireworks
Plunge sparklers into a bucket of cold water as soon as they have burnt out
Attend organised displays wherever possible
Read the instructions on the fireworks with a torch and follow them carefully (ensure your fireworks comply with the British Safety Standard (BS 7114)
Keep all fireworks in a closed metal box and only light one at a time
Leave fireworks that fail to go off – never return to a lit firework
Ensure everyone stands a safe distance away when the fireworks are going off
Remove all debris and flammable objects from your firework display area
Eye damage caused by fireworks can lead to permanently reduced vision or even blindness yet is so often avoidable, so this year please follow the SPARKLER safety code.