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Tri-County Association for the Blind
1800 North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102-2200
(717) 238-2531 Fax:(717) 238-0710

Contact: Angela Barlup, Public Relations Director
Phone: 717-238-2531
Date: May 27, 2004

For Immediate Release

Fireworks Safety

Harrisburg, PA -- Americans have plenty of traditions when it comes to celebrating holidays. Parades, cookouts and fireworks are a few ways in which we come together as friends and family. Firework displays are the most common way to celebrate our nation's birthday, July 4th. This day of joy and excitement can also bring painful memories for those who are not aware of Fireworks Safety. It is estimated that 50% of fireworks-related injuries involve children 14 years or younger. Giving children ages 10-14 the highest rate of injury. In 2001 nearly 17% of firework injuries were eye-related. These two statistics alone should make every American more cautious while participating in any Independence Day celebration.

For a small child, just watching the fireworks display isn't enough. Most would like to participate. Sparklers seem to be the best choice, or at least you would think so. However, sparklers can heat up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt gold. It is best to keep small children away from any type of fireworks, and an older child should only be permitted to use fireworks under close supervision from an adult.

Most common injuries will occur to the hands (32%), eyes (28%) and the head or face at (16%), yet data from the United States Eye Injury Registry states that bystanders are more often injured by fireworks than the operators themselves. As a bystander you must obey all posted regulations, as well as, being alert at all times.

If injury does occur to a child/adults eye, Prevent Blindness America suggests these steps in order to minimize eye damage. Do not rub the injured eye or rinse the eye out. Do not stop for over the counter medicine. It is best to go straight to the emergency room and do not apply ointment of any kind to the injury.

Independence Day is meant to be a celebration. Continue to enjoy all that your community does for this special day, but remember that fireworks are not a toy to play with. Let the professionals handle the show, just sit back, relax and watch.

Tri-County Association for the Blind is a private non-profit organization that works to provide opportunities to help blind and visually impaired individuals flourish in our communities. In addition, the agency works to prevent blindness through early detection of eye problems and eye safety programs for children and adults. For more information, contact the agency by calling (717) 238-2531 or visit our web site at

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