Blowing shit up on the 4th of July has been a holiday tradition since John Adams’ time. It is so ingrained in our Independence Day culture that doctors even have a name for the multitude of fireworks related injuries they see each July: “Patriotic Tetanus.”
The Fourth is a dangerous holiday that results in over thousands of hospital visits each year. Last year, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks were responsible for 8 deaths during the holiday celebrations.
If you are a parent, you can probably guess which demographic suffers the most injuries from the pyrotechnics each year...teenage boys.
The chart above represents several years of fireworks-related hospitalizations data (from 2006 to 2010), as compiled in a 2014 study in the Journal of Surgical Research.
The Journal of Surgical Research did a study back in 2014, looking at all of the hospital visits due to fireworks-related injuries from 2006 to 2010, and they found that 76% of those injuries were sustained by teen boys and young men in their early 20s, and the month that sees the most fireworks-related hospital visits, 67% to be exact, is July.
The “firework-related injuries” most commonly found in the study were injuries to the hands, wrists, and fingers. The majority of them are a burn of some degree, but people are also seen for bruises and “open wounds.”
According to the fireworks industry, the products are much safer than they were in the past, and it appears that may be true to some degree. Since 2001, several states have lifted their ban on consumer fireworks, and the rate of injuries has not significantly increased. However, the Journal of Surgical Research maintains that, “Firework-related injuries remain a public health problem.” So, keep an eye on your teens.