Fireworks Injuries for 2007

By: Alana Greenfogel Email
By: Alana Greenfogel Email

Fireworks are a July 4th tradition for many people, but that means emergency room doctors and fire officials have July 4th "traditions" of their own -- dealing with accidents and injuries.

The Indiana Department of Health says 156 people were hurt so far this year from the explosives; that number is down from 251 from last year.

"But, that's 156 too many," says Dave Cherrone, a Clay Township Fire Marshal.

Charrone also explains that those numbers are only the reported injuries.

"There's a lot of that that takes place, 'Nah, I'm fine.'"

Fire officials are not the only busy ones. Doctors say they can usually count on July 4th accidents.

"The most common injury is a burn -- to the hands, to the face, injuries to the eyes that can be devastating with life-long consequences," says Dr. Mark Kricheff, an emergency room doctor at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center.

"All fireworks are hot. Even the little flaming things that spin on the ground that seem harmless because they don't fly in the air. They can still cause quite a significant burn," Kricheff says.

But that does not scare some firework users.

"It doesn't really bother me at all," says Michael Danner, who uses fireworks every July 4th with his friends. "I don't hold them. I don't throw them. I just light them on the ground and get away."

Of the 156 injured, about half are children and teens. All but 20 occurred between June 30th and July 7th.

In South Bend, a new ordinance allows people to use fireworks only 12 days a year -- New Year's Eve, July 4th, and five days before and after Independence Day.

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