LOUISVILLE, Ky. and BALTIMORE, Md. – As states relaxed laws related to fireworks sales during the past decade, emergency doctors saw an increase in both the number of fireworks-related injuries among children and the severity of those injuries, according to new research being presented by faculty from the University of Louisville at the Pediatrics Academic Societies 2016 Meeting.
An abstract of the study, “Effect of Fireworks Laws on Pediatric Fireworks Related Burn Injuries," will be presented at the PAS meeting in Baltimore on May 3.
Researchers looked at federal and state data from the National Inpatient Sample, with data on 8 million hospital stays each year, and the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, which annually compiles information on 30 million discharges from emergency medicine facilities.
They determined the number of patients under age 21 treated and released by emergency departments between 2006 and 2012 rose modestly. Significantly larger increases were seen in injuries requiring inpatient hospital admission, which skyrocketed from 29% of cases in 2006 to 50% in 2012.
“The increase in fireworks-related injuries and the severity of these injuries in children since 2006 are very concerning,” says Charles Woods Jr., MD, one of the study’s authors and associate chair of pediatrics at the University of Louisville. “Although our findings do not prove a direct link to relaxations in state laws governing fireworks sales, it may be time for lawmakers to reassess this issue. Parents and caregivers of children also should be aware of these increasingly serious injuries and the potential dangers involved in allowing young children to handle and play with fireworks.”
“Pediatric fireworks-related burn injuries have increased in incidence, apparent severity of injury, the proportion requiring hospitalization and length-of-stay in the hospital in a time period of relaxed fireworks laws in the United States,” says lead author John Myers, PhD. “These findings suggest that policy-makers should revisit current fireworks laws for the safety of children.”
About the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting
The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting brings together thousands of individuals united by a common mission: to improve child health and wellbeing worldwide. This international gathering includes pediatric researchers, leaders in academic pediatrics, experts in child health, and practitioners. The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four organizations leading the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy: the Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, and Society for Pediatric Research. For more information, visit the PAS Meeting online at www.pas-meeting.org, follow us on Twitter @PASMeeting and #PASMeeting, or like us on Facebook.