Fireworks-related injuries are rising in the U.S., according to a new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission released ahead of the country’s Independence Day.
The commission said in the report released on Wednesday that fireworks-related injuries have seen a “significant upward trend” over the past 15 years, increasing by 25% since 2006.
In 2021 alone, there were an estimated 11,500 fireworks-related injuries treated in emergency rooms. Seventy-four percent of those injuries happened in the month between June 18 and July 18, according to the report.
“It’s imperative that consumers know the risks involved in using fireworks so that injuries and tragedies can be prevented,” commission Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric said in a news release.
According to the report, the most common areas of the body that were injured by fireworks were the fingers, hands, head, face, and ears. About 32% of the injuries treated in emergency departments were burns. Other common injuries linked to fireworks included bruises, cuts, and bone fractures.
Emergency departments treated 1,500 injuries related to firecrackers and 1,100 injuries involving sparklers, the report found.
The report found that 31% of randomly tested fireworks contained faulty parts, such as “fuse violations, prohibited chemicals, and pyrotechnic materials overload.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission will “work closely with other federal agencies” to prevent the sale of illegal consumer fireworks, Hoehn-Saric said.
The commission urged consumers to use fireworks safely while celebrating on the Fourth of July. The agency advised purchasing legal fireworks and moving a safe distance away after lighting them. People lighting fireworks should keep water on hand to extinguish malfunctioning or used fireworks. The commission also urged consumers to supervise children around fireworks and sparklers, which can burn at temperatures reaching 2,000 F.
“Never point or throw fireworks (including sparklers) at anyone,” the agency advised, also noting that you should never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
More fireworks safety tips can be found here.
Consumer Product Safety Commission: “New CPSC Report Shows Significant Upward Trend in Fireworks-Related Injuries Over the Past 15 Years,” “2021 Fireworks Annual Report.”
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