FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information:
Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate
(800) 301-2020 ext. 105
Prevent Blindness Warns Ohioans about the
Dangers of Backyard Fireworks
-Nearly Half of Injuries are to Innocent Bystanders, Including Children-
Columbus, OH (June 17, 2022) – As we approach the Fourth of July, The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness warns that there can be serious dangers if Ohioans conduct their own backyard fireworks displays.
Did you know?
- Discharging 1.4g consumer grade fireworks will become legal in the State of Ohio on July 1, 2022, with limits on days of the year discharge is allowable. However, many local municipalities have enacted discharge bans within their boundaries. Rules regarding the discharge of 1.4g consumer grade fireworks are expected to go into effect on July 3, 2022. For information regarding the discharge rules, Prevent Blindness encourages Ohioans to contact the State Fire Marshal’s office.
- The 2020 S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Fireworks Report, estimated that in 2020, approximately 15,600 people were treated in emergency departments for firework-related injuries, with 66% occurring around the one month period surrounding the Fourth of July holiday.
- In 2020 an estimated 2,340 fireworks injuries were to the eye and according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, approximately one third of eye injuries from fireworks result in permanent blindness.
- Nearly half of all fireworks injuries are to innocent bystanders –many of them children.
- Of the 2020 fireworks-related injuries, approximately 24 percent of those injuries were to children under the age of 15, or nearly 3,744 children.
- 11 percent of injuries were to children under the age of five, with sparklers accounting for 36 percent of the estimated injuries for that group.
- Fireworks cause tens of thousands of fires nationwide each year and tens of millions of dollars in damage.
- Sparklers burn at nearly 2000°F, which can result in an instant skin burn and can easily ignite clothing. Two-thirds of sparkler-related injuries occur in children younger than 5 years.
Prevent Blindness believes that there is no safe way to use fireworks and supports 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. Prevent Blindness thanks the local municipalities that have taken steps to enact legislation that bans the discharge of these dangerous fireworks within their boundaries and encourages other municipalities to do the same. Prevent Blindness facilitates the Ohio Fireworks Safety Coalition and Ohioans Against Fireworks whose member organizations educate the public on the dangers of consumer fireworks and endorse public policies to help protect adults and children from needless injuries from fireworks.
In addition to the many healthcare and safety groups that oppose the use of 1.4g consumer grade fireworks without a license, other opponents are animal advocates who report that dog shelters are overrun around the Fourth of July with dogs that have been startled by fireworks discharges and run off. Farmers similarly express concerns as fireworks can startle cattle and other livestock or cause damage to crops. Veterans suffering from PTSD endure symptoms and stress brought on by fireworks discharge.
“The Fourth of July can still be fun without backyard fireworks or sparklers,” said Amy Pulles, President & CEO of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. “By leaving fireworks to the professionals, you will not only avoid a tragic visit to the emergency room yourself, but you will also respect the time, effort and other resources of our already overstrained emergency responders and healthcare workers.”
For more information on the dangers of fireworks, please call Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate at (800) 301-2020 or visit preventblindness.org/prevent-eye-injuries-fireworks.
About Prevent Blindness
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness is Ohio’s leading volunteer nonprofit public health organization dedicated to prevent blindness and preserve sight. We serve all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to more than one million Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight. For more information or to make a contribution, call 800-301-2020.
Visit us on the web at www.pbohio.org or facebook.com/pbohio and Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/PB_Ohio.