Fireworks are an entertaining American pastime, but according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study, 200 people, on average, go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday.
Burns account for more than half of firework injuries, and according to Becky Mundy, education coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital’s Clifford R. Boeckman, MD, Regional Burn Center, a majority of these incidents occur from mid-June to mid-July.
“The most common injuries we see here at Akron Children’s Hospital resulting from fireworks are burns, contusions and lacerations.”
Children account for approximately 45 percent of firework-related injuries, with the most common ages being 5 to 14, Mundy said.
The most common injuries to children are caused by sparklers and firecrackers. The two combined account for almost one-third of injuries to children younger than 5 years.
“Children are more susceptible to injury because they’re curious when they see the colors from the fireworks or the fire,” Mundy said. “They also have thin skin, so it burns easily.”
The study from the CPSC also concluded that the areas of the body most prone to injuries cause by fireworks are the hands and fingers and the head, face and ears. These injuries accounted for over 50 percent of injuries reported in 2012.
Although Mundy recommends leaving fireworks displays to the professionals, families who are planning their own fireworks displays should follow these precautions:
If a firework-related injury does occur, seek medical attention immediately.
For more fireworks safety tips, visit www.cpsc.gov/fireworks/ or contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission Hotline at (800) 638-2772.
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