Ten people each year* lose their sight as a result of careless behaviour around fireworks with a further 300 estimated eye injuries caused during the season of ‘Guy Fawkes’. Alex Gage Family Optometrist is urging people to take greater care at this time by protecting their eyes from fireworks and bonfire flames.
Alex, who owns practices in Crosspool and Woodseats with his wife and fellow optometrist, Sarah, said: “According to research half of all fire related injuries are suffered by children. The figures are truly shocking and can be totally avoided by following a few simple precautions. Of course everyone wants to enjoy the celebrations but safety first is a must, the statistics speak for themselves.”
Fireworks safety code:
- Buy fireworks which meet British Standards, these will be marked BS 7114 on the box, and buy them from a reputable retailer
- Keep fireworks in a closed box away from where you are launching live fireworks
- Follow instructions on each firework and light your fireworks at arm’s length
- Stand well back once lit and never go back to a lit firework
- Never put fireworks in your pocket and never throw them
- Wear gloves when using sparklers
- Keep all pets indoors
Alex continued: “Take extra care with sparklers. They seem harmless enough and are often given to children without realising how harmful they can be. They can get five times hotter than cooking oil and the most common injuries are to the hands, followed by the eyes and face. Children should always be supervised and not allowed to run off in a moment of excitement. Sparklers should be held at arm’s length, and away from others. Do not give sparklers to under-fives and make sure you have a container of water on hand to put the sparkler in as soon as it goes out. Enjoy the season, but enjoy it safely.”
To find out more about the Sight Care Local campaign, visit www.sightcarelocal.co.uk to access tips and advice on taking care of your eyes and to locate your nearest independent optician.
*Research supplied by the College of Optometrists