Fireworks: Cheap Thrills & Toxic Consequences

In 2015, 11 people died while using fireworks. An estimated 11,900 people were also treated at a hospital for firework-related injuries. According to the report, about 67 percent of those accidents occurred in the 30 days before and after Fourth of July festivities.

Other CPSC findings included:

  • Of the 11 deaths, nine of those involved misused re-loadable fireworks, often trying to hold them when they fired, either on their head or in their hands.
  • The other two deaths involved homemade fireworks, which are often packed with more explosive power than permitted under law.
  • Teenagers ages 15 to 19-years-old had the highest rate of injuries, followed by children ages 5 to 9-years-old.
  • Hands and fingers were the most-injured body parts (32 percent); followed by the head, face and ears (an estimated 25 percent); eyes (an estimated 16 percent); legs (an estimated 15 percent); and arms (an estimated 4 percent).

How to Enjoy Fireworks More Safely

Because laws surrounding what can be purchased and used across state lines have become more lax – not to mention there’s been a rise in social media content detailing ridiculous ways to get the most bang for your buck (literally) — experts suggest that the only way to cut back on said injuries, especially among children, is prevention.

  • Opt for public displays. Using fireworks at-home leaves the door open to the unpredictable. In other words, leave it up to the professionals!
  • Never wear loose clothing, or light fireworks indoors, near dry grass, brush, leaves and flammable substances.
  • Always keep an eye on the children. After all, little hands like to put little things in their mouths.
  • Have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher on hand in the event of an emergency.
  • If you have an accident, seek medical treatment immediately.

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