PBA supports bans on improper use of fireworks, offers safe options

PBA is in support of the development and enforcement of bans on the importation, sale, and use of all fireworks and sparklers, except those used in authorized public displays by competent licensed operators.

Chicago-Despite repeated warnings to consumers, fireworks still caused 6,400 trips to the emergency room last year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The American Society of Ocular Trauma states that an average of 400 Americans permanently lose vision in one or both eyes due to fireworks injuries annually.

Children make up 36% of fireworks injuries and a third of the children under five were injured from sparklers. What many parents don't know is that sparklers can burn up to 1,800° F.

"There are no such things as safe fireworks," said Daniel D. Garrett, senior vice president of Prevent Blindness America (PBA). "Although there seems to be a prevailing attitude that because an accident hasn't happened before that fireworks aren't dangerous, the statistics prove the opposite to be true."

PBA is in support of the development and enforcement of bans on the importation, sale, and use of all fireworks and sparklers, except those used in authorized public displays by competent licensed operators. Fact sheets and brochures dedicated to fireworks safety education are offered to the public by PBA through its "Safe Summer Celebrations" campaign.

Some safe fireworks-free ideas to celebrate Independence Day include:

  • During the day, let the kids decorate t-shirts or hats with paint and glow-in-the-dark decals. Their creations will be ready by the time the sun goes down.

  • Create your own noisemakers by using bicycle horns, whistles, bells, cymbals, or pots and pans.

  • Glo-sticks, glo-ropes and glo-jewelry can light the night safely.