Spotlight on Injuries from Fireworks Spotlight on Injuries from Fireworks
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

All fireworks are dangerous, especially to children. In 2004, 9,600 people were treated in U.S. emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries. During the month around Independence Day, children 14 years and younger sustained about 40% of injuries related to fireworks, and among all ages males represented 76% of those injured. Typically, more than two thirds of injuries from fireworks in the United States occur in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday.

Injuries from fireworks most often affect the hands, eyes, and the head face, and ear.

Under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, the federal government banned the sale of the largest and most dangerous fireworks to consumers. Some states have banned the general public’s use of fireworks altogether. The U.S. National Fire Protection Association and CDC strongly recommend that fireworks be used only by professionals.

Quick Facts
In 2004, emergency departments treated 9,600 people for fireworks-related injuries in the United States, and 8 people died from their injuries. During the month around Independence Day.

40% of these injuries occurred among children ages 14 years and younger;
males sustained about 76% of all injuries;
hands (33%), eyes (21%), and the head, face, and ear (21%) were the parts of the body most frequently injured;
more than half of the injuries involved burns (62%); and
injuries were most commonly associated with fire-crackers (17%), sparklers (17%) and rockets (14%).
Source: Greene MA, Joholske J. 2004 Fireworks annual report: Fireworks-related deaths, emergency department treated injuries, and enforcement activities during 2004. Washington (DC): U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission; 2005 [cited 12 May 2006]. Available at URL: