On Monday, millions of Americans marked Independence Day with celebrations filled with backyard barbecues, red white & blue attire, and most importantly, fireworks. However, for a few unfortunate individuals the celebrations will end early with an unexpected trip to the emergency room. As entertaining as they might be, fireworks are responsible for many injuries during the patriotic holiday, with young adults between the ages of 15 and 19 having the highest estimated rate of emergency treated injuries.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) most recent report described firework related injuries in the United States. In 2015, the highest estimated number of annual firework related injuries was recorded at 11,900. In addition, 2015 was regarded as the deadliest year for fireworks with eleven fatalities, nine involving misusing reloadable fireworks. Data from the CPSC report was collected and analyzed in SAS Visual Analytics 7.3 to display number of firework related injuries per 100,000 people from the years, 2000 to 2015.
From June 19, 2015 to July 19, 2015, another report detailed firework related injuries, which surprisingly shows sparklers as the most dangerous firework with nearly 1,900 emergency department treated injuries. When separated by age groups, sparklers accounted for 65 percent of the total estimated injuries for children under the age of 5.
From the graph shown below, 63 percent of the estimated sparkler injuries involved the hands and fingers. Rockets, multiple tube, roman candles, and reloadable devices known for flying and emitting sparks were primarily associated with eye, head, and face injuries.
In recent news, firework injuries have swept over the country this past weekend, including one fatality. With this data in mind, we hope those who participate in Fourth of July festivities in the following years will adhere to the CPSC guidelines when handling fireworks. Let us know in the comments below how you enjoyed your Independence Day!