With laws related to personal fireworks and sparkling devices more relaxed in New York State, fireworks are more accessible than ever. Whether at a designated stand or local store, it’s increasingly popular for people to purchase fireworks for their own Fourth of July displays.

Previously, New York banned the sale of sparkling devices, making counties opt-in, in order to sell the items.  However, in recent years, the law changed and counties now have to opt-out. This means the devices are legal, unless action is specifically taken to ban them.

Firework Related Injuries

Associate Chair of Emergency Medicine at Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Dr. Lloyd Brown said the hospital typically sees burn cases from holding fireworks too close or standing too close while lighting them.

“While fireworks are beautiful to watch and fun to enjoy, be safe and leave them to the professionals.”

Dr. Lloyd W. Brown
Associate Chair of Emergency Medicine, Kenmore Mercy Hospital

Most of these injuries happen mid-June through mid-July, as a result of people handling fireworks unsafely and sometimes due to malfunction. The estimated cases of firework injuries is expected to increase with New York State’s recent law change.

According to the Journal of Surgical Research, the most common firework injuries are to the hand, wrist, or finger. 57 percent of injuries involve burns, 16 percent come from bruises, and 15.8 percent are for “open wounds.”

Treating Firework Injuries

Small burns should be wrapped in a clean, cold towel to stop the burning process and evaluated as to whether they need further medical attention. If you are unsure about the severity of the burn, call 9-1-1 or immediately go to your nearest hospital.

As in all cases, prevention is the best overall protection to ensure a safe and happy Fourth of July.

For Immediate Medical Attention
Call 9-1-1 or
Visit the Nearest Emergency Room

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