The Reason Serious Firework Injuries Are Increasing

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Step away from the sparkler!

Just in time for the Fourth of July, new research shows that people aged 20 and younger are at serious risk of being injured in a firework-related incident. Researchers blamed this finding on the relaxation of U.S. laws relating to the use of fireworks.

The University of Louisville research team measured the number of firework-related injuries for youths aged 20 and under from 2006 to 2012. While the number of minor burns and related injuries (estimated at 90,257) increased only slightly over that time period, the amount of serious injuries requiring hospitalization jumped from 28.9% to 50%. The means that the length of a hospital stay related to a significant firework-related injury also increased, from 3.12 days in 2006 to 7.35 days in 2012.

In short, the severity of these injuries has risen significantly. Laws regulating the use of fireworks, however, have become more lax. As CNN notes, last year, sparklers, party poppers, and cone fountains became legal in select New York counties. Just three states, Delaware, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, have an outright ban on consumer fireworks.

The University of Louisville team have called on fireworks laws "to be revisited by policy-makers."

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