Authorities say that two people were injured in Washington D.C. on Wednesday when fireworks that had been leftover from the big show on the National Mall went off. The injured persons are fireworks crew members. One of them was treated at the accident scene while the other worker has serious burn injuries.
In Vienna, Virgina, a D.C. suburb, seven people were hurt during the community’s fireworks exhibit. Five of the injured persons were children. Some of the fireworks had gone off and hit crowd members at an elementary school. The Fairfax County Fire Department says two of the victims sustained serious injuries.
In 2005, according to the National Fire Protection Association:
• U.S. hospital E.R’s treated 10,800 fireworks-related injuries
• Children ages 10 to 14 had the highest injury rates
• 19 out of 20 injuries were related to fireworks that consumers are legally allowed to use
• Fireworks is an extremely high-risk consumer product
The CDC’s Web site offers the following information about Fireworks-Related Injuries:
About 60% of all fireworks-related injuries in 2005 occurred between June 18 and July 18. During that time period:
• Fireworks-related injuries most frequently involved hands and fingers (31%), eyes (25%), and the head and face (20%) (Greene & Joholske 2006).
• More than half of the injuries were burns. Burns were the most common injury to all body parts except the eyes. In the eyes, contusions, lacerations and foreign bodies occurred more frequently (Greene & Joholske 2006).
• Fireworks can be associated with serious injuries such as blindness, third degree burns, and permanent scarring (Smith et al. 1996).
• Fireworks also cause life-threatening residential and motor vehicle fires (Greene & Joholske 2006).
• Between June 18 and July 18, 2005, Firecrackers (26%), sparklers (17%), and rockets (17%) accounted for most of the injuries seen in emergency departments (Greene & Joholske 2006).
• Sparklers were associated with more than half of the estimated injuries for children under five (Greene & Joholske 2006).
• Between 2000-2005, more than one third of the fireworks-related deaths involved professional devices that were illegally sold to consumers (CPSC 2006a).
If you or someone you love has injuries related to fireworks because another party acted negligently or carelessly, do not hesitate to call a personal injury law firm immediately.
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Jack Lebowitz and Vadim Mzhen are personal injury lawyers dedicated to helping injury victims in the Maryland and Washington D.C. areas obtain compensation from any negligent parties.
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