Study objectives: To estimate the annual fireworks injury rates in the United States over the past decade (1980 through 1989) and to describe the epidemiology of fireworks-related trauma.
Design: Retrospective analysis of fireworks-related injuries reported from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Results: During the study period, nearly 10,000 Americans were injured annually by fireworks. The rates were highest in the young, with a peak of 22.3 per 100,000 persons per year for males age 10 to 14. Males outnumbered females by 2.5:1. Half of the fireworks injuries occurred around the week of July 4. The hand was the most frequently injured body part, followed by the eyes and the face. Active participants consistently were the major victims in all "personal-use" fireworks and had more severe injuries than bystanders. Rockets were the most dangerous device among class C fireworks.
Conclusion: Fireworks injuries are a health hazard to the public. Young persons are at the highest risk to suffer injuries, mainly due to personal-use fireworks. A majority of victims are injured during the week of July 4. Class B fireworks and rockets appear to be very dangerous.