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Fireworks Injuries

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in 1998, 8,500 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with fireworks. About 5,000 of those injuries occurred during the one-month period surrounding the Fourth of July.

Approximately 55 percent of the fireworks-related injuries were burns, and most of the burns involved the hands, eyes, and head/face. Over 40 percent of the victims were under 15 years of age, and about 75 percent of them were males.

In a special study of fireworks-related injuries during the period between June 23-July 24, 1998, CPSC found that firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers caused the bulk of emergency room-treated injuries from fireworks. Large, illegal fireworks, such as M-80s were involved in an estimated 800 injuries.

CPSC compiles information on fireworks injuries from around the country each year. Here are some of the real-life stories of people who have been severely injured in fireworks accidents:

  • A 7 year old boy lost half of his left hand including his fingers when he ignited an M-80 he had found hidden in a family bedroom. The M-80 exploded in the boy's hand.
  • Two boys, 8 and 10 years old, received first and second degree burns on their arms when a bottle rocket exploded in the garage at their house. The garage and a car were totally destroyed.
  • An 8 year old girl received second and third degree burns to her leg when a spark from a sparkler she was holding ignited her dress.

See the most recent report by the CSPC on Consumer Fireworks Related Injuries: 2010 Consumer Products Safety Commission Report on Fireworks