The Dangers of Confetti
During this period when there are many Purim parties celebrated with a range of festival items, it is worth knowing about a recent publication of research conducted by Prof. Gad Dotan, Director of the Ophthalmology Unit at Schneider Children's. The investigation showed that confetti can cause severe damage and irreversible harm to sight, particularly among children.
Prof. Dotan reviewed all recent studies concerning eye injuries involving confetti. Analysis of the findings showed that the majority of the injuries were among those who stood in close proximity when confetti crackers were opened. Some of the injuries were mild such as a scratch on the cornea, or external bleeding which was mostly absorbed, but there were also more serious injuries, among them two cases where children required emergency surgery to save the sight, requiring stitching of the cornea and drainage of blood from the retina.
Because of their lower height, children are susceptible to more serious injury than adults because of the level of their eyes when near to a burst of confetti. Confetti comprises small particles made from a mix of paper with plastic and sometimes also aluminum which contributes to severe injury to the eye.
Prof. Dotan noted that "over recent years, we have treated a number of cases at Schneider Children's where eye injuries have been caused by confetti, and regrettably, most people are still unaware of the dangers involved in the use of confetti particularly among children. Even though most of the injuries are mild and sight recovers, there are cases where there is irreversible damage and serious and permanent impairment of vision."