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Dangerous Time for Young Eyes

It’s less than a month until the Fourth of July. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks are involved in thousands of injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms each year. Most fireworks injuries occur during the one month period surrounding the Fourth of July. Today’s Vision warns that there is no safe way for nonprofessionals to use fireworks. The safest way to enjoy the splendor and excitement of fireworks is at a professional display. Fireworks devices were involved in an estimated 11,100 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2016 (the latest year for which data is available). • An estimated 7,600 fireworks-related injuries (or 68 percent of the total estimated fireworks-related injuries in 2016) were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments surrounding the 4th of July period. • Males accounted for 61% of fireworks injuries. • 31% of fireworks injuries were to children under age 15. • Young adults 20 to 24 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries. Children younger than 5 years of age had the second highest estimated rate. • The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (an estimated 33 percent); head, face, and ears (an estimated 20 percent); legs (an estimated 18 percent); eyes (an estimated 9 percent); and arms (an estimated 8 percent). • Sixty-nine percent of the emergency department-treated injuries were burns. Burns were the most common injury to all parts of the body, except the eyes, where contusions, lacerations, and foreign bodies in the eyes occurred more frequently • There were 4 reported fireworks-related deaths in 2016.