Prevent Blindness thanks the Hudson Hub-Times for educating your readers about the dangers of backyard fireworks in your June 29 article "Ohio Officials Warn of the Dangers from Backyard Fireworks."
The reason that the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness cares so deeply about this issue is that eyes are the third most common body part injured by backyard fireworks and accounted for nearly 2,000 of the total reported injuries in 2013, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Annual Fireworks Report.
Half of all fireworks injuries are to innocent bystanders -- many of them children. Last year there were 790 cases of emergency treatment for children under the age of 5 due to sparklers, which burn up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit -- hot enough to melt most metals! The safety of our children is the price we pay when igniting backyard fireworks. Just because something is legal (and fun), doesn't mean it's safe.
Prevent Blindness supports the enforcement of bans on the importation, sale and use of all fireworks and sparklers, except those used in authorized public displays by licensed operators. Last year there were 11,400 injuries that were treated in the hospital emergency room due to firework-related injuries -- a shocking 31 percent increase over the previous year.
We want families to be aware of the dangers of fireworks and to take the proper precautions to keep everyone safe. Prevent Blindness urges all citizens to stay away from backyard fireworks, and have safe Fourth of July holiday!