Play It Safe Play It Safe
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

During the month around Independence Day (July 4th), in 2005, children 14 years and younger sustained nearly half of the injuries related to fireworks.

Though they can be exciting, festive, and fun, it is important to remember that fireworks are also dangerous1. In 2005, an estimated 10,800 people were treated in US emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries2. The US National Fire Protection Association and CDC strongly recommend that fireworks be used only by professionals.

• When do these injuries happen? Typically, 60% of injuries from fireworks in the United States occur in the month surrounding the July 4th holiday2.

• What types of fireworks cause injuries? Between June 18 and July 18, 2005, firecrackers (26%), sparklers (17%), and rockets (17%) accounted for most of the injuries seen in emergency departments. Sparklers were associated with over half of the estimated injuries among children under 5 years, during the same time period2.

• Who is likely to be injured? During the month around Independence Day (July 4th), children 14 years and younger sustained about 45% of injuries related to fireworks2.

• What kinds of injuries occur? Injuries from fireworks most often affect the hands, eyes, and the head, face, and ear2.

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. Between 2000–2005, more than one third of the fireworks-related deaths involved professional devices that were illegally sold to consumers3.

The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave fireworks displays to trained professionals.