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Fourth Annual Prevent Blindness Fireworks Safety Awareness Week declared as June 28-July 4, 2024, to Help Educate Consumers on the Dangers of Fireworks

Prevent Blindness Urges Public to Celebrate Independence Day Safely by Avoiding Fireworks, Attending Authorized Displays by Professionals

Prevent Blindness has declared June 28-July 4, 2024, as the Fourth Annual Fireworks Safety Awareness Week in an effort to educate the public on the dangers of fireworks. According to the  U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) “2023 Fireworks Annual Report,” fireworks devices were involved in an estimated 6,400 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments around the Independence Day holiday, from June 16-July 16, 2023.

The CPSC also reported that there were 8 non-occupational, fireworks-related deaths during 2023. Five of the deaths were associated with firework misuse; two deaths were associated with a device misfire/malfunction; and the circumstances surrounding one incident are unknown.

To help educate the public on the dangers of fireworks, Prevent Blindness offers a  dedicated webpage, free downloadable fact sheets and shareable social media graphics. For families, Prevent Blindness offers creative fireworks alternatives for safe celebrations.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology warns that a recent study showed that 65 percent of people injured by fireworks are bystanders. Even those attending professional displays should be cautious to avoid serious firework injuries.

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The CPSC 2023 Fireworks Annual Report also found that:

  • The parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (an estimated 35 percent of the treated injuries); followed by the head, face, and ears (an estimated 22 percent); eyes (an estimated 19 percent); trunk/other regions (an estimated 11 percent); legs (an estimated 8 percent); and arms (an estimated 5 percent).
  • An estimated 42 percent of the emergency department-treated injuries were burns. Burns were the most common injury to hands and fingers; head, face, and ears; arm; and leg regions.
  • Of the 1,200 reported eye injuries, 400 were contusions/lacerations, 200 were burns, and 600 were diagnosed as “other.”
  • There were an estimated 800 emergency department-treated injuries associated with firecrackers and 700 with sparklers.
  • Victims 15 to 19 years of age had the highest estimated rate of emergency department-treated, fireworks-related injuries. Children 5 to 9 years of age had the second highest estimated rate.

“The Fourth of July should be a day spent celebrating with family and friends, not in an emergency room,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Leave the fireworks to the professionals, and remember to stay vigilant, even during authorized fireworks displays.”

Find out more about fireworks and safe celebrations.

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