As it turns out, the Fourth of July is one of the highest ocular emergency days of the year. No need to explain this notion because we’ve all heard stories of harmless celebrations gone drastically wrong. Sure, setting off fireworks can be a lot of fun, but it’s usually a good idea to leave the more advanced aspects to professionals. Especially to avoid an eye (or other) injury.

To maximize your Fourth of July experience this summer, keep the following eye safety tips in mind:

Keep Children Away from Fireworks

The old adage “it’s better safe than sorry” applies here. Fireworks come in all shapes and size and are especially fun for children to play with. That said, it’s best to keep children away from them altogether to avoid the potential of an accident.

Adults – Exercise Precaution if Using Fireworks

For young adults and adults alike, fourth of July fireworks are fun as long as nobody gets injured. Surely, accidents are few and far between, but they DO happen. Furthermore, it will definitely ruin the day (possibly more) if an accident does occur.

Familiarize Yourself with Safety Measures

If an eye injury from fireworks does occur, DO NOT do the following:

  • DO NOT – remove any particles that may be stuck in the eye(s)
  • DO NOT – apply any pressure to the eye(s)
  • DO NOT – rub or rinse your eye(s)
  • DO NOT – self-apply any types of ointments or creams
  • DO – Seek Medical Attention Immediately

Wear Your Sunglasses

On a lighter note, your sunglasses are to your eyes what sunscreen is to your skin. That said…

Keep Your Sunscreen Handy

If spending the holiday at the lake or beach (or in general sunlight), make sure to keep the sunscreen close by. Protection from harmful ultra violet rays is necessary, especially when the sun is at its brightest (between 12pm – 2pm).

Stay Hydrated

If you’re 21 or older, celebratory alcoholic beverages may be on the menu this 4th of July. That said, developing a drinking plan is a good idea. It may even be smart to stick to a one drink per hour (or even every other hour). Also, add in a lot of water to counterbalance the effects of alcohol and the sun.

Pack Artificial Tears

Too much time outdoors can make your eyes feel dry or irritated. To counter this, try using artificial tears every few hours. It may help to make your eyes feel more comfortable, especially while spending time in the sun.

Wear Eye Protection

If you plan on taking a celebratory dip in the pool/ocean/lake, be sure to pack your safety goggles (especially if you wear contact lenses). If water mixes with your contact lenses, it puts you at higher risk for serious eye infection.