As many Fourth of July celebrations start this weekend, please don’t drink and drive and be careful when it comes to the use of fireworks.  The State of Illinois doesn’t permit the selling or use of many different types of fireworks including roman candles, bottle rockets, firecrackers and M-80 style of fireworks.  That doesn’t stop individuals from crossing the border to purchase these items from neighboring states.  In Illinois, you can purchase sparklers, smoke bombs and novelties including snakes and snaps, but these do not come without their risks. This is especially true for sparklers as they burn at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.  No, that is not a typo, 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.  If certain metals can melt at that temperature, imagine what that would do to human tissue.

Below are the reported firework injuries to the Illinois State Fire Marshall in 2011. These are only the reported numbers from hospitals and not all injuries that were treated at home or within private medical offices.

At Zaker Family Vision, we typically see burns around the face and foreign bodies embedded in the eye tissue during the few weeks around Independence Day from firework accidents.  If you plan to use fireworks this season, please protect yourself and others properly using safe distances, eye protection and protective clothing.

Don’t drink and drive.