Categorized | Health

Decrease in fireworks injuries on Oahu; 4 on Big Isle

MEDIA RELEASE

According to the Injury Prevention and Control Program of the state Department of Health, no fireworks-related injuries were treated in Oahu hospitals during this year’s 4th of July period.

In the previous eight years (2003 through 2010) that the DOH has monitored fireworks injuries, there was an annual average of 17 such injuries on Oahu, including 13 injuries among children under 18 years of age.

The current lack of injuries is probably due to the decreased usage of fireworks among Oahu residents, in accordance with the fireworks ban enacted Jan. 2 of this year. The legislation bans the use of fountains, sparklers and other novelty fireworks, but does allow for the use of 5,000 firecrackers with the purchase of a permit.

In comparison, there were nine (9) injuries treated at hospital emergency departments on the neighbor islands around the 4th of July: four (4) each on Maui and Hawaii islands, and one (1) injury on Kauai. These nine (9) injuries were the highest combined total for neighbor islands since 2006.

The use of fireworks on the neighbor islands is restricted only by the age of the purchaser and the statewide ban of aerial fireworks.

All nine of the patients took private transport to the hospitals, and all patients were eventually discharged from the emergency departments. Their ages ranged from 7 to 27 years, and about half (5, or 56 percent) were under 18 years of age.

All of the injuries were burns, most commonly burns to the hands (8 injuries). Seven of the injuries occurred on July 4th, and two on July 5th. Five of the injuries on July 4 were sustained between 9 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Most or all of the patients were injured while setting off or holding the firework (this information was not available for four patients).

The state Department of Health monitors and evaluates injuries reported by emergency rooms and hospitals statewide to develop strategies to prevent and reduce injuries from occurring.

For more information on the State’s Injury Prevention Plan, visit:
hawaii.gov/health/healthy-life…

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