New Year Fireworks-Related Injuries Remain High

Armen Hareyan's picture
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According to the Injury Prevention and Control Program (IPCP) of the Hawaii State Department of Health, 94 people were treated at Hawaii emergency departments (EDs) for fireworks-related injuries during this New Year period. Almost all patients were taken to the hospital via private transport and nearly all who were treated were discharged. Only 2 patients required hospitalization.

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The number of injuries increased by 9% compared to last New Year's period (86 injuries), and the current total of 94 injuries is the 2nd highest total in the 7 years of gathering this information. The majority of injuries occurred on Oahu (68, or 72% of the total). The remaining 26 injuries were reported from Neighbor Islands, which exceeds any previous total. Thirteen of those injuries occurred on Maui, approximately double the average number of 7 injuries for that island in previous years.

Most (91%) of the injuries were burns, with hands and fingers being the most commonly affected parts of the body. The age of the patients ranged from 2 to 54 years, but more than half (54 of 92, or 59%) were 16 years or younger. Six were between the ages of 2 and 4 years, 24 were between 5 and 9 years, and 24 were 10 to 16 year-olds. Only 9 patients (10%) were older than 30 years of age (age was not known for 2 patients).

Fireworks-related injuries continue to be a significant cause of ED-treated trauma around the New Year period, particularly among young children. Among children aged 2 through 14 years, there were more injuries (45) from fireworks during this 2-day period, than in an average month from car crashes (42), assaults (21), poisonings (13), or pedestrian crashes (9).

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