There has been a sharp increase in the number of U.S. children who have been hospitalized with fireworks-related burns since sales restrictions on fireworks have been eased, a new study finds.
Researchers analyzed national data and found a slight increase since 2006 in the number of patients younger than 21 with fireworks-related burn injuries who were treated and released by U.S. emergency departments.
But the investigators found a much larger increase in the percentage of patients in that age group who were admitted to the hospital for their burn injuries, rising from 29 percent of cases in 2006 to 50 percent in 2012.
The findings are scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting, in Baltimore. Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
“The increase in fireworks-related injuries and the severity of these injuries in children since 2006 are very concerning,” study author Dr. Charles Woods said in an American Academy of Pediatrics news release.
“Although our findings do not prove a direct link to relaxations in state laws governing fireworks sales, it may be time for lawmakers to reassess this issue,” said Woods, associate chair of the department of pediatrics at the University of Louisville.
“Parents and caregivers of children also should be aware of these increasingly serious injuries and the potential dangers involved in allowing young children to handle and play with fireworks,” Woods added.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has more on fireworks safety.