You'll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid

Bottle rockets cause majority of firework injuries

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Popular bottle rocket fireworks are responsible for serious eye damage and even loss of vision in children, according to a study at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Fireworks-related injuries account for 9,200 emergency admissions and 1,400 of those cases are eye injuries. Most of these come from bottle rockets, a smaller form firework. While it may be smaller than a normal firework, it packs quite a punch when things go awry.

Most eye injuries result from direct impact by the rocket, malfunctions during takeoff or debris from the firework combusting.

A study of 10 patients showed serious eye injuries, 8 of which required surgery of the eye lens. Other injuries sustained included bleeding in the eye, inflammation of the iris, tearing of the iris, cataracts (cloudy formations on the eye lens) and tearing of the retina.

The study stresses the importance of protective eyewear when launching bottle rockets, for those directly involved and for bystanders. Parental supervision is of the utmost importance.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 12, 2011
Last Updated:
January 13, 2011