It’s that time of year again when young people play with explosives. In 2017, there were 13,000 fireworks injuries – a good chunk of them to the eye – and eight deaths. One of those was a four-year-old Wisconsin girl who died from shrapnel when a metal tube filled with sparklers exploded.
More fuses are lit by men
This is no surprise to you, but it’s easy to predict who will end up in the emergency room – boys. This chart tells the demographic story of fireworks injuries. A majority of them appear to be fueled by testosterone.
Cause of injury by firework type
Sparklers, which burn between 1000°C to 1600°C, may look innocent, but they’re responsible for more injuries than any other type of firework.
- The most frequently injured body parts are the hands, head/neck, and eyes.
- Burns are the most common injury. Cuts, bumps, and bruises are the most common injuries to the head.
- In addition to blindness, third-degree burns, and permanent scarring, fireworks also cause life-threatening home and motor vehicle fires.
M-80s are a class of fireworks that were once used by the military to simulate the sound of artillery. You can recognize them by the cannon fuse that protrudes from the side of the firecracker. It’s a myth that M-80s are dynamite, but they are still extremely dangerous to little fingers and plumbing
How to use fireworks safely
The best advice to patients might be to stay away from fireworks altogether — but that’s not patriotic. For fireworks safety, here a useful reference from WikiHow that you may want to add to your website.