Study: 10,000 Fireworks Injuries Avoidable

MAYWOOD, Ill., June 30 (UPI) — Eleven deaths were reported and nearly 10,000 people were injured by fireworks 2006, the latest available government figures indicate, a U.S. researcher says.

Dr. Thomas Esposito of Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago reports physicians across the Illinois area are already beginning to treat patients injured by fireworks.

“Even fireworks that are classified as ‘safer,’ such as bottle rockets and sparklers, are responsible for some of the most serious wounds treated by emergency physicians,” Esposito says in a statement.

Esposito notes even minor injuries to the hands, and particularly the thumbs, can cause major problems with the essential activities of life — like texting and buttoning a shirt.

“Those are major functional losses,” he says. “Fireworks are basically explosives and all are capable of causing severe injuries, but even minor injuries can cause significant disability when it comes to sight and hand function.”

Esposito warns fireworks and drinking, like drinking and driving, don’t mix.

“If you’re too impaired to drive, you’re too impaired to set off fireworks,” he adds.

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