Prevent Blindness Works to Educate the Public on the Dangers of Consumer Fireworks

Celebrate the Fourth of July without using consumer fireworks

“By attending only fireworks shows run by licensed professionals, and being vigilant, we can celebrate our nation’s birthday with family and friends, not in the emergency room,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), estimated that injuries from fireworks sent 8,000 Americans to the emergency room over the Fourth of July holiday. The latest CPSC annual report stated that forty-two percent of the estimated emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries were to individuals younger than 20 years of age. Sadly, the CPSC also reported 11 non-occupational fireworks-related deaths.

The American Pyrotechnics Association states that Delaware, Massachusetts and New Jersey are the only states that ban all consumer fireworks. Fireworks laws vary from state to state and sometimes, within different counties.

A recent study, “Effect of Fireworks Laws on Pediatric Fireworks-Related Burn Injuries,” published in the Journal of Burn Care & Research, concluded that the relaxing of fireworks laws in the United States has had a dramatic effect on the severity of the related injuries, resulting in more inpatient admissions and longer length of stay in the hospital.

Yet despite the thousands of injuries and consumer firework-related deaths, some state government representatives are moving to lift restrictions on consumer fireworks.

In fact, in Iowa, a new law enacted in April allows retail sales of consumer fireworks in permanent buildings between June 1 and July 8, and again between Dec. 10 and Jan. 3.

As a public health-based organization, Prevent Blindness supports the development and…

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