Common Injuries Caused by Fireworks
Every year, an estimate of 250 people suffer injuries caused by fireworks each day of July, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (SPSC). While people recognize that fireworks are dangerous, many people seem to believe that some fireworks are less dangerous than others. This belief leads to more injury! Firework injuries often include injuries to the face, eyes, hands, legs, and so much more of the body.
Even though they are used for celebration, they still can pose a significant health risk, so practice safety and caution when using fireworks.
Many people believe that sparklers are actually fairly safe, but the reality is that these fireworks can burn at the heat of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature is hot enough to melt metal! The serious burns from sparklers can lead to a number of injuries and, in some cases, death. In fact, the CPSC pointed out that sparklers actually account for about 28% of fireworks-related injuries.
"Fireworks can damage tissues from the skin through the bone and can even cause partial or complete hand amputation." Said Dr. Ghazi Rayan, INTEGRIS hand surgeon and past president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.
When it comes to firework injuries, most individuals are injured on July 4th. In fact, INTEGRIS Dr. Christopher Lentz estimates that a hospital will receive 40-50 calls every hour from 9 am until 1 am on July 4!
The CPSC tracks firework injuries, and in 2016 alone, fireworks caused more than 11,000 injuries with severe burns. In a special study in 2018, the majority of firework injuries occurred between June 22 and July 22 — a total of 62% that whole year.
In 2018, 44% of firework injuries that ended up in the emergency department were from burns to the hands, fingers, and arms. The CPSC reported the following areas to be the most commonly injured in fireworks accidents in 2018:
28% hands and fingers injuries
24% leg injuries
19% eye injuries
15% head, face, and ear injuries
4% arm injuries
“Burns from handling sparklers, clothes that have caught fire, people playing with fireworks that explode in their hands, people who had Roman candles pointed at them, sparkler bombs exploding and causing people to lose fingers…” Said Dr. Lentz of INTEGRIS.
Easily one of the most common areas for firework injuries are hands. After all, hands are often involved in shooting off a firework, waving a sparkler, or checking a firework that has failed to go off. While minor burns can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication, serious burns may result in blisters, white leathery skin, and damage under the skin. Seek emergency treatment.
Another common area affected by firework-related injuries are the eyes, often resulting in minor burns to vision loss. When a firework explodes, dangerous particles fly into the air with the ability to pierce eyeballs. Never handle fireworks without some type of protective eyewear, and if your eye is injured, go right to the emergency room.
When a firework explodes too close to a person, one of the common areas of the body to be affected is the face. From severe burns to broken bones to facial tissue damage, injuries are extremely painful and often require medical attention. Keep your head as close to heart-level as possible if you suffer an injury.
Another common injury from fireworks is hearing loss, whether temporary or permanent. Fireworks explode at a very loud decibel level, sometimes being as loud as 150 decibels. For humans, hearing loss can occur at levels of 85 decibels or more. To prevent hearing loss, always stand far away from fireworks and wear protective gear.
After experiencing a fireworks-related injury, it’s crucial to know if you have legal rights to help cover the costs of medical treatment and the potential loss of time at work. In some situations, it may be possible to recover damages from the firework injury. Sometimes, a company, manufacturer, or another person can be held liable for negligence. The best way to determine your legal solutions is to reach out to a lawyer who can direct you to either a product liability claim, property damage, or another type of claim. Speak with a firework injury lawyer today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.