Fireworks are a big part of the Fourth of July, but if you ask a doctor, they say leave it to the professionals.
Dr. Priscilla Fowler of the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital said they see many of the same things each year when it comes to injuries related to fireworks.
"Everything from minor scrapes and burns to chemical burns, lascerations of the cornea and retinal detachment. Very severe injuries to the eye that can cause vision loss and even permanent blindness," Dr. Fowler said.
When asked what someone should do before they can make it to medical help if they encounter an eye injury, fireworks related or something else.
"We tell people the first and best thing to do is do not touch your eye, do not rub your eye, do not put any pressure on your eye. The next thing to do is proceed immediately to an emergency room," Dr. Fowler added.
"If you're fortunate to be near an eye hospital like we are in Birmingham, you should proceed to the UAB Callahan Eye Hospital. We're specifically equipped and have the surgeons and staffing to handle any kind of eye emergency any time of night or day," she said.
Dr. Fowler adds that nearly 45 percent of the firework-related injuries are in children under the age of 15.
The bottom line: professionals say it's best to leave the fireworks to the professionals on the Fourth of July.
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