According to NBC News, 11,000 persons were admitted to the emergency room last year due to injuries related to firework use. About 250 persons are admitted each day surrounding the Fourth of July.
Most injuries are burns inflicted on fingers and hands, and usually involved bottle rockets, firecrackers and other explosives; however, 900 of the bad injuries were related to sparklers, which smolder at very high temperatures, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in their annual report.
Firework use also killed at least four men last year, the report said. About 67 percent of the injuries occurred when the fireworks malfunctioned, either by going off too soon or blowing up in place, or by exploding sideways.
Fireworks can also injure bystanders, the CPSC said.
“In Case 20, a 29-year-old male and his family were outside lighting fireworks. The family across the street was doing the same thing as well. … The neighbor family set up a mortar not on a flat level of plain but on a hill. The mortar fell over and shot across the street into the victim’s yard, right next to one of the victim’s young cousins. The victim picked his cousin up to shield her and the mortar went off,” the CPSC report said.
“The victim suffered burns on the left side of his face and neck. Moreover, some of the embers from the firework got into the victim’s left eye and caused blurred vision.”
The CPSC offers a few precautions: Never light a dud. Don’t buy unlicensed or illegal fireworks. Don’t let children light or play with fireworks. Light fireworks one at a time and step back from each one each time. Leave fireworks shows to the professionals.
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