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Avoiding Eye Injuries from Fireworks

Happy 4th of July to all. It will be a great day to celebrate our nation, and hopefully a 2015 USA Woman’s Soccer World Cup victory the following day. Unfortunately, along with the 4th of July celebrations, come a lot of injuries from personal fireworks. Eye injuries from fireworks can be especially debilitating. Public fireworks displays are regarded as safe, and have a lower incidence of personal injuries. Personal fireworks have a much higher incidence of injury, and need to be conducted with extreme care.

According to the 2014 Fireworks Annual Report (http://www.cpsc.gov//Global/Research-and-Statistics/Injury-Statistics/Fuel-Lighters-and-Fireworks/Fireworks_Report_2014.pdf), an estimated 10,500 injuries occurred from fireworks that were treated in hospital emergency departments. Of these injuries, 74 percent were to males. Children were a frequent victim, as 35 percent of individuals injured by fireworks were age 15 and under. Children under 5 years old were most commonly injured by sparklers. Roughly 1 in 5 of those caused trauma to the eye. The eye injuries were most commonly caused by firecrackers. Over 200 eye injuries were caused by bottle rockets or other rocket-like fireworks. The eye injuries included ruptured globes, eye contusions, chemical and thermal burns, lacerations, foreign bodies, and retinal detachments. All of these injuries can cause permanent eye damage and affect long-term vision. Here is one unfortunate story of a 16-year-old that nearly lost his vision in a fireworks accident in Michigan http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/eye-health-news/teen-nearly-loses-vision-to-fireworks-injury.cfm .


Here are some safety tips for viewing fireworks from the American Academy of Ophthalmology website called eyeSmart http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/eye-injuries/fireworks-eye-safety.cfm :

-stay at least 500 feet away from public fireworks displays

-if you encounter any unexploded fireworks, do not touch them, but rather contact the local fire department

-keep fireworks of all types, including sparklers, away from young children

-only trained pyrotechnicians should light professional-grade fireworks

-wear protective eye wear when around personal fireworks displays


If you do obtain a fireworks eye injury:

-seek medical attention immediately

-do not rub, rinse, or apply pressure to your eye

-do not remove any objects that may be stuck in the eye

-avoid putting any drops or ointment in the eye

-avoid aspirin or ibuprofen, which will thin your blood and increase the risk of bleeding


Here is a partial list of public fireworks displays nearby:

ARVADA – Events start at 4 p.m. at the Lutz/Stenger Sports Complex, entrance at 58th Avenue and Oak Street.  Apex Park & Recreation District, Arvada. More: http://arvada.org/arvada-center-banquet-and-conference-facilities/fourth-of-july/

BOULDER –  Ralphie’s Independence Day Blast is free to the public and will take place at Folsom Field on Saturday, July 4. .Gates open at 8 p.m. The program starts at 8:30 p.m. Community donations toward the celebration costs will be accepted at the gates. Free HOP and Buff Bus service will be provided from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. from downtown city parking garages and 29th Street to Folsom Field and back. Fireworks begin around 9:40 p.m. More info: http://www.boulder4thofjuly.com/


  • Adams County is hosting a NEW fireworks event in Brighton. The Stars and Strips fireworks event will kick off at 4 p.m. with an opening ceremony honoring military and first responders  at the Adams County Regional Park, 9755 Henderson Road, Brighton.  A massive fireworks display is scheduled to start at approximately 9:45 p.m. Immediately following the pyrotechnics, visitors are invited to enjoy a screening of the film “Top Gun.” Learn more http://adcogov.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=528

BROOMFIELD –  The Great American Picnic celebration begins at 5 p.m. with a bike parade, pony rides, inflatables, free concerts, and fireworks display at dusk. Bring your picnic dinner or enjoy a dinner from our vendors at the park. Charcoal grills are not permitted. Celebration will be at Broomfield County Commons, 13200 Sheridan Blvd. More info: http://www.broomfield.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=505

COMMERCE CITY — Colorado’s Major League Soccer Club, the Rapids, play the Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club at 7 p.m. at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Fireworks close out the evening.  Learn more at http://www.coloradorapids.com/4thfestcolorado


  • Civic Center Park (Colfax & Broadway) Free community concert, light show and fireworks display on Friday, July 3, 2015, at Denver’s Civic Center Park beginning at 8 p.m.  Lawn seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are welcome to bring their own picnics; food truck concessions will also be available on-site. The event will take place rain or shine. Learn more at http://www.civiccenterconservancy.org/event-independence-eve-2015_75.html
  • Elitch Gardens — Fireworks on July 4.

ERIE —  On July 3, visit the Colorado National Golf Club at 2700 Vista Parkway in Erie, CO 80516. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. Fireworks will conclude the evening at dusk. Admission to event & fireworks show are FREE and open to the public! Children’s activities will include bungee trampolines, inflatable bouncy land, mechanical bull rides, obstacle courses, climbing walls, clowns, games and face-painting! Learn more at http://www.erieco.gov/DocumentCenter/View/6860

ESTES PARK – Fireworks are set to go off over Lake Estes at 9:30 p.m. Other events include the “Coolest Car Show’ and live music. Learn more at http://www.visitestespark.com/events-calendar/special-events/july-4/

FIRESTONE – Full day of Independence Day celebrations! Saddleback Golf Club will set off fireworks at 9:30 p.m. http://www.ci.firestone.co.us/4thatfirestone

GOLDEN –  Bring a picnic and join the Golden Lions Club for the 4th of July community celebration in Lions Park on 10th Street again this year. This is one of the major ways for the Lions to give back to the Golden community and our country. Activities start at noon and include free rides for the kids, face painting, live music, and a large fireworks display in the evening (weather permitting!). Details at http://www.cityofgolden.net/event/2015-lions-club-july-4th-festival/

LAFAYETTE — Lafayette Chamber is hosting a celebration from 4 p.m.–10 p.m.  at Waneka Lake, 1600 Caria Dr.  Fireworks will begin at dusk, approximately 9:30-9:45 p.m.  The following items are not allowed on the event site. Alcohol – Glass bottles or containers – Grills of any kind – Illegal personal fireworks – Open fires. Learn more http://business.lafayettecolorado.com/events/details/celebrate-4th-of-july-2015-1085

LONGMONT- A fireworks display will be held at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, near the intersection of Hover Road and Boston Avenue. No parking on fairgrounds. For the best view of the fireworks, park at a nearby shopping center and either walk to the fenced area in front of the Jack Murphy arena or watch from anywhere within a one mile radius of the fairgrounds. Learn more at http://longmontcolorado.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/7335/1300?curm=7&cury=2015

LOUISVILLE: Fireworks at Coal Creek Golf Course on 585 West Dillon Road at 9:15 p.m. Learn more at http://www.louisvilleco.gov/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/3433/68?curm=7&cury=2015

LOVELAND — The July 4th Festival is held annually at North Lake Park which is located at the corner of Taft Avenue & 29th Street in Loveland.  Fireworks Show is set for 9:17 p.m. over Lake Loveland. Learn more at http://www.cityofloveland.org/index.aspx?page=691

NEDERLAND — Thanks to a wet and rainy spring, the town is planning a 4th of July celebration with fireworks. The parade will kick off the festivities at noon. The evening ends with a fireworks at dusk. It can be seen from Guercio Field over Baker Reservoir. For more information on the Nederland 4th of July event, please visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nederland-Old-Fashioned-July-4th-Fireworks-Festival/1020508954645577.

THORNTON — A spectacular fireworks show follows a parachute jump at  9:30 p.m. Families can watch from Carpenter Park Fields at 108th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. Learn more at http://www.cityofthornton.net/festivals-events/Pages/july-fourth.aspx

WESTMINSTER – Join us for the annual 4th of July Celebration. Celebration at City Park from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., At 7 pm enjoy a concert by Daddy Blue followed by a spectacular fireworks show at 9:15 pm. Parking is VERY LIMITED at City Park so take advantage of the FREE shuttles from many locations in Westminster and Hyland Hills. Visit http://www.ci.westminster.co.us/ParksRec/SpecialEvents.aspx for a shuttle schedule.

WINDSOR: Fireworks over the Windsor Lakes after the concert. See more festivities at http://www.windsorgov.com/index.aspx?NID=550

Enjoy your 4th of July celebration!

Dr. Ken Kreidl


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