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Injuries associated with fireworks in Victoria: an epidemiological overview
  1. Omar Abdulwadud,
  2. Joan Ozanne-Smith
  1. Monash University Accident Research Centre, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
  1. Correspondence to: Professor Ozanne-Smith (e-mail: Joan.Ozanne-smith{at}general.monash.edu.au).

Abstract

Objectives—To determine the epidemiological features of injuries associated with fireworks.

Design—A retrospective study of reported cases.

Subjects—Subjects were those who attended selected Victorian hospital emergency departments (n=17) and those admitted for firework related injuries (n=16).

Results—The mean (SD) age of attenders at emergency department between January 1988 and June 1996, was 8.9 (6.2) years and most (88%) were under 18 years of age. Males accounted for 71% of the cases. The most common anatomical sites and types of injury were head (47%) and burns (88%), respectively. About 53% of the injuries were caused by firecrackers, the remainder by sparklers and penny bangers. Among those admitted to hospital between July 1987 and June 1996, the mean (SD) age was 22.9 (14.8) years and 50% were under 18 years of age. Males accounted for 87% of the cases. There was a significant difference in mean age between those admitted and not admitted to hospital, the former being significantly older.

Conclusions—Although relatively rare, injuries from fireworks still occur in Victoria after legislative restrictions on their sale in 1985. Consequently, there is a potential risk for injuries among children, particularly from firecrackers. More enforcement of the regulations, education, and parental supervision are needed to prevent injuries from fireworks.

  • fireworks
  • legislation
  • hospital admission
  • emergency department attendance
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