Friday, July 29, 2005

July Fourth fireworks injuries
keep growing, at 57 this year


July Fourth fireworks injuries:

YEAR Hawaii Maui Oahu Kauai
2005 7 5 37 8
2004 2 2 25 3
2003 2 0 13 2

Source: State Department of Health

The number of injuries caused by fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday has increased steadily during the three years that the state Health Department has been tracking them, but is still lower than the number of fireworks injuries reported during the New Year's holiday.

There were 57 fireworks-related injuries reported July 3-5, according to a Health Department survey of emergency rooms at 22 hospitals statewide, including Hana Health Center and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center.

Most were burns and none required hospitalization, said Dan Galanis, of the Health Department's injury prevention program.

In the same three-day period last year, there were 32 fireworks-related injuries, and 17 in 2003.

The Health Department reports that most of those injured this year, 47, were hurt while setting off or holding fireworks.

State law prohibits minors from purchasing and setting off fireworks. Still, 43 of the victims are 17 or younger. Four are between 6 and 9 years old.

The Health Department has been tracking fireworks-related injuries during New Year's for the past five years.

There were 115 fireworks injuries this year, 72 last year, 59 in 2003, 80 in 2002 and 59 in 2001.

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