New Year’s fireworks injured 112 in Islands
By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Staff Writer
Fireworks injured 112 people in Hawaii, half of them children, during the recent New Year’s holiday, including seven who were admitted to hospitals with serious burns or blast wounds, according to the state Department of Health.
The number of injuries is the highest since the agency’s Injury Prevention & Control Program began tracking the data 10 years ago.
“This New Year’s we saw records for the number of injured (112), the number admitted to hospitals (seven), and the number transported by EMS (seven),” said Health Department epidemiologist Dan Galanis. “Those latter two observations indicate an increase in more severe injuries this year.”
The data reflect hospital emergency room visits for fireworks-related injuries during the period of Dec. 31 to Jan 2.
Ninety-nine cases were reported on Oçahu, seven on Maui, four on the Big Island and one each on Kauaçi and Länai, according to the report.
The ages of those injured ranged from 2 to 82. Seven were under the age of 5 and nearly 80 percent were males.
Galanis pointed out that there were more children under the age of 16 hurt
by fireworks during the three-day period than in an average month from car crashes (42), assaults (21), poisonings (13) or pedestrian collisions (9).
Three-quarters of the injuries occurred while victims were holding or setting off fireworks, with observers suffering the remainder, the report said.
Hands and fingers were the most commonly injured body part, accounting for 55 percent of cases.
Of the cases in which the type of firework is known, firecrackers injured 15 people; spinning “flowers,” nine; sparklers, five; and aerials, four.