In case of a fireworks eye injury, quick and appropriate first aid can make a significant difference in preventing further damage. This guideline provides detailed and precise instructions on what to do in the event of a fireworks eye injury emergency.
1. Stay Calm
Maintain composure to assess the situation accurately.
Do not panic, as this may help the injured person remain calm as well.
Provide moral support for the person who needs first aid.
2. Call for Emergency Assistance
Dial emergency services immediately.
Provide clear information about the situation, the injured person's condition, and your location.
Emergency numbers are:
911 (United States)
112 (European Union)
3. DON'T Rub the Eye
Instruct the injured person to avoid rubbing the affected eye, as this can worsen the injury.
First Aid Steps in Fireworks Eye Injury
Here is what you can do to help while waiting for the ambulance to arrive:
1. Protect Yourself
Wear disposable gloves (if available) to protect yourself from potential contaminants or infection.
Do NOT put yourself at risk; ensure the area is safe before assisting the injured.
2. Assess the Situation
Gently guide the injured person to sit down.
Assess the extent of the injury and look for signs of other injuries.
3. Stabilize the Head
Encourage the person who is hurt to keep their head still.
Stabilize the head by placing your hands on both sides without putting pressure on the affected eye.
If there are foreign objects in the eye, do NOT attempt to remove them.
Rinse the eye with clean, lukewarm water or saline solution.
Use a clean container or sterile eyewash solution, tilting the head to the side to allow the water to flow away from the uninjured eye.
Continue irrigation for at least 10 minutes until you flush out all firework debris.
5. Cover the Eye
Place a sterile dressing or a clean cloth over the injured eye without applying pressure.
Secure the covering in place with a bandage or gently tie it behind the head.
6. Avoid Medications
Do NOT apply any ointments or medications to the eye unless directed by medical professionals.
7. Prevent Further Injury
Do NOT attempt to push protruding objects back into the eye.
Avoid putting pressure on the eye or surrounding areas.
RELATED: Types of Eye Injury by Fireworks
Transport to Medical Care
If there is an ER nearby and you don't want to wait for emergency services in the incident area, here's what to do:
Keep in Touch with The Emergency Team on the Phone
Before you transport a person with a fireworks eye injury to the ER by yourself, it's better to get a green light from the emergency team to do so.
There may be additional firework injuries that could make transporting the patient unsafe or risky. So you need to closely follow the emergency team's directions on what to do next.
Stay on the phone with them the whole time, provide real-time updates, and await further instructions.
Transporting the Patient
If possible, have someone else drive. That would allow you to attend to the injured person during transportation and stay on the line with the emergency services.
Once you arrive at the ER, provide the medical professionals with details of the incident. They also need to know what was initial first aid administered, so they can adequately treat the patient.
If you need to spread awareness about fireworks eye safety, we urge you to read our publication with safety guidelines: Everything About Fireworks Eye Safety
Checked by Atanas Bogoev, MD.