Are relaxed laws causing more firework injuries?
Before you heed Katy Perry’s advice to “ignite the light and let it shine,” take proper precautions to make sure you’re a safe distance from the kaboom.
With summer right around the corner, parents and children need to be aware of the risks posed by fireworks. There has been a steep increase in the number of American children who have been hospitalized by fireworks and related burns since sales limitations have been eased, according to a recent study.
“It is very important to supervise children to ensure safety with fun summer activities such as fireworks, utilizing the pool and playground equipment,” says Roseanne Niese, a nurse and director of emergency services at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill.
There has been an increase in both the number of fireworks-related injuries among children and the severity of those injuries, according to study researchers who presented their findings at the Pediatrics Academic Societies meeting on May 3.
The nationwide data revealed a slight increase since 2006 in the number of patients younger than 21 years old who suffered firework-related injuries. Experts found a much greater increase in the percentage of patients in that age group who were admitted to the hospital for their burn injuries, rising from 29 percent of cases in 2006 to 50 percent in 2012.
“Although our findings do not prove a direct link to relaxations in state laws governing fireworks sales, it may be time for lawmakers to reassess this issue,” said study author Dr. Charles Woods, an associate chair of the department of pediatrics at the University of Louisville, in a news release.
“People often forget that sparklers can cause major injury – they can be as hot as 1,000 – 1,600 degrees [Fahrenheit] depending on the device,” cautions Dawn Moeller, a nurse in clinical emergency services at Good Shepherd Hospital.
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