Communities that ban sparklers and other fireworks have fewer fireworks-related… (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters )
For those of you checking to see if your city allows fireworks for this Fourth of July weekend: Not to rain on the fireworks plans, but take note -- Long Beach, Los Angeles and other cities banning fireworks, including the 'safe and sane' variety, have the right idea. Researchers say that the tougher the fireworks laws, the fewer kids who get hurt.
According to a July 1996 study in the journal Pediatrics, children who live in communities with more lenient fireworks laws are seven times more likely to be injured than kids living where the laws are stricter.
The researchers looked at fireworks-related injuries that were seen by the pediatric emergency department of a hospital in Kansas City, Mo., over a period of 22 years. They found that 42% of the injuries were caused by firecrackers, while 12% more were due to bottle rockets. And in the more recent part of the period examined, 54% of injuries occurred while adults were supervising. A full 71% of victims were boys, and 1 out of every 10 children suffered some permanent injury.
Keep in mind: Two thirds of the injuries were caused by legally available fireworks, such as small firecrackers, bottle rockets, sparklers and fountains. Yes, those ubiquitous sparklers were major troublemakers, causing 67% of the injuries to kids ages 5 and younger.
So much for 'safe and sane'? Might be best to stick to the professional displays. Just a thought.
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