As Americans get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July, a report has found that deaths and injuries from fireworks are increasing in the United States. A U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission analysis found that 18 people died in non-occupational fireworks incidents in the U.S. in 2020, an increase on 12 deaths recorded in 2019, the latest data available.
Between 2005 and 2020, there were 136 deaths from fireworks misuse or 8.5 deaths on average each year. Along with the growing number of deaths, injuries from the misuse of fireworks are skyrocketing. The report states that 15,600 people were treated in U.S. emergency rooms due to non-occupational fireworks injuries in the U.S. last year compared to around 10,000 in 2019.
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About 66 percent of all fireworks injuries in 2020 occurred around the Fourth of July period, documented between June 21 and July 21. The main culprits were firecrackers and sparklers. During that time frame, hands/fingers accounted for the highest proportion of body part injuries at 30 percent, followed by the head, face or ear at 22 percent while eyes came third with 15 percent. In terms of the type of injury, burns were the most frequent diagnosis by far at 44 percent, while contusions/lacerations and fractures/sprains were also relatively common.
The U.S. is currently experiencing a firework shortage due to supply constraints caused by the pandemic which is set to make this year’s selection more expensive and limited. As a result, the industry has warned that supply will be down 30 percent, and that could lead to a reduction in hospital admissions.
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