Young people are particularly vulnerable to fireworks injuries. People under age 20 account for about half of all fireworks injuries, and one out of three are under age 15, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control. In addition, about three times as many males are injured as females.
“Parents need to be alert to young children’s activities. Their natural curiosity can lead them to experiment with fireworks, increasing their chances of being injured,” said Larry Jones, MD, Medical Director of the West Penn Burn Center.
The safest and simplest way to prevent injuries is to leave fireworks displays in the hands of trained professionals, Dr. Jones said.
“Many fireworks-related deaths involve professional devices that are sold to consumers,” said Dr. Jones. “Relax and enjoy the show put on by qualified professionals in your local community.”
“Exploding firecrackers can cause devastating orthopaedic injuries, particularly to the fingers, hands and arms,” said Mark Baratz, M.D., orthopaedic surgeon and Director of the Division of Upper Extremity at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH).
“Fireworks should be off limits to all except qualified personnel. The risk is too great,” he said. “Most of these injuries are preventable.”