A 5-year-old boy and his mother from Spring want you to be careful this 4th of July. They shared their story with Eyewitness News in hopes you'll pay close attention to firework safety.
Nolan Haney suffered a corneal burn last New Year's Eve after his mother Julie Haney said he threw little poppers at the ground. Nolan was just 4-years-old at the time. Haney said the spark bounced back and landed on Nolan's eye causing intense pain.
"Just seeing him in the pain he was, it was just hard," said Julie Haney. "One of the sparks came back and got into his left eye. He complained about it. We put some eye drops in his eye. A friend told us to take him to the ER."
The little boy went to an ophthalmologist, according to his mother. The doctor said surgery was necessary.
"He was going into surgery because his cornea had healed over the debris left over in his eye," said Haney. "The doctor had to put him into surgery and peal the freshly healed cornea from his eye. They had to get the debris out and put a contact lenses over his eye."
Fortunately, Nolan is expected to be okay. His mother said there's still some scar tissue on his eye which could lead to night vision problems later in life. She said parents must use every precaution including eye protection.
"I wish we could have better protection knowing these things were out there," said Haney. "It's not just the big fireworks that can do harm. It's the little ones too, especially with little kids. The closer you are to the ground, the more likely you are to get it in your eye or on your body."
Firework sellers like Richard Fallin, owner of Top Dog Fireworks, agree safety should be top priority. His business operates 12 locations across the Houston area. He said Independence Day celebrations aren't the same without a bang but should be worry free. Fallin said his team is quick to reiterate safety tips and stress the importance of knowing what you buy at the store.
"We're here and we will be fully stocked until the close of business on the 4th.," said Fallin as he shared safety tips with our reporter. "Keep a bucket of water around or a fire extinguisher. They're easy to put out if you have something available. Do not stand directly under them. Common sense, really ... adult supervision is huge."
Fallin said they're there to help and address any concerns customers may have. For more information on Top Dog Fireworks, you can visit their website.
Fireworks are on sale beginning today. According to state law, they can be sold legally until midnight on July 4.
However in most cities in Southeast Texas, fireworks remain illegal. It's in unincorporated areas in counties where the festive items can be legally purchased. In the city of Houston and other parts of Harris County, using fireworks, including sparklers, can get you a fine of anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per firework.
For more information, visit the city of Houston's website.
Fireworks go on sale today, but there are restrictions in some areas