Fireworks Injured 9,700 in US Last Year

June 27, 2024


John Lyon
Strategic Communications Manager


ACHI Communications

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An estimated 9,700 Americans were treated in emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2023, according to a new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The agency’s 2023 Fireworks Annual Report looks at the years 2008 through 2023 and finds that despite decreases since 2020, the overall trend has been for fireworks injuries to increase — at an average rate of 561 injuries per year. To better assess the risk for fireworks-related injuries during Fourth of July celebrations, CPSC examined injury data during the four weeks surrounding the holiday. For 2023, it found:

  • Adults ages 25-44 experienced about 31% of estimated injuries. Children younger than 15 accounted for another 31%.
  • Among children, teenagers ages 15 to 19 had the highest rate of emergency room treatments due to fireworks-related injuries. Children ages 5 to 9 had the second-highest rate.
  • Hands and fingers were the most common body part injured (35% of injuries) followed by the head, face, and ears (22%).
  • An estimated 42% of fireworks-related emergency room-treated injuries were burns.

    The report also finds that eight fireworks-related deaths were reported in 2023. Five were associated with misuse of fireworks, two were associated with device misfires or malfunctions, and one involved unknown circumstances.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends enjoying fireworks at professional shows rather than at home. AAP advises watching fireworks shows at a safe distance — at least 500 feet away from the launch site — to avoid injuries and protect children’s hearing. Fireworks and firecrackers can be as loud as 150 decibels, far louder than the 75 to 80 decibels considered safe.

    AAP also advises against using sparklers. Although they do not explode, sparklers can burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to melt some metals. Contact with skin can cause third-degree burns. Sparks can also ignite clothing and cause eye injuries. In 2023, CPSC reported 700 emergency room-treated injuries associated with sparklers.

    “Fireworks are best left to professionals,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson, a pediatrician. “The last place you want to be on July Fourth is in the emergency room with an injured child.”

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