MUSCATINE, Iowa— The Muscatine County Board of Health supports the development and enforcement of safety regulations associated with the use of all fireworks within the county. The Board encourages only qualified licensed operators to utilize fireworks for public displays.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s annual fireworks report from 2017 identified an estimated 12,900 individuals who received treatment in emergency rooms across the U.S. due to firework related injuries. Children under the age of 15 constituted approximately 36% of the injuries.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year causing an average of three deaths, 40 injuries to humans, and $43 million in property damage.
In July 2019, Trinity Muscatine Emergency Department received six traumas from the surrounding area due to severe firework related injuries. In addition, there were related firework impacts which included a reported dismemberment and one death in the area within the same month.
Fireworks may have harmful effects on veterans. An estimated 60-80% of veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The sounds of fireworks can bring back combat memories, causing PTSD symptoms. Muscatine County has over 2,000 veterans.
In order to decrease the health and economic impact of fireworks accidents, the Board further seeks to inform the public that:
- Only trained and certified professionals should handle fireworks and explosive materials.
- All fireworks can behave unpredictably and dangerously and may cause serious injury to the general public and trained technicians.
- Fireworks can cause devastating injuries and have a negative economic impact on communities and individuals.
- Healthcare practitioners and local authorities should report any fireworks or sparkler-related injuries, property damages, and deaths. Individuals may report injuries and incidents to the Consumer Product Safety Commission by calling 800-638-2772 or filing a report on their website, http://www.cpsc.gov/.
- All professionals, organizations, and agencies concerned with the safety of populations in Muscatine County should increase educational efforts to inform adults and children of the hazards associated with the use of all types of fireworks.