Most don't know how to treat fireworks blasts affecting the eyes: Red Cross

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The vast majority of people in the Netherlands have no idea what to do to give first aid if someone's eye is hurt by a firework, according to the Red Cross. The aid organization launched a website with the most important thing to do with different firework injuries until professional help can be reached.

According to the Red Cross, 77 percent of the population do not know how to give first aid for eye injuries caused by fireworks. And only 13 percent gave the correct answer on a detailed follow up question on the subject. 

The first and most important thing to do if someone's eye is hurt by a firework is to rinse it out as quickly as possible - but only if the pupil is still round and the eye is intact. It is not only the impact of a firework that hurts the eye, but also the gunpowder that remains behind. "That eats through the eye like a kind of drain cleaner", ophthalmologist Tjeerd de Faber said on the site. 

If the eye is not intact or the pupil is not round, it is very important not to put pressure on the eye, the Red Cross warns. Rather tilt the head back a bit to avoid all pressure on the eye, De Faber said. 

The Red Cross study also revealed that 63 percent of Dutch don't know how to give first aid if a firework causes a large skin injury, and 61 percent don't know what to do if someone loses a finger. Nearly three quarters, 73 percent, do know how to give first aid for a burn, however. More tips can be found on the Red Cross' new site.