ARCHIVED - Injuries associated with... FIREWORKS

 

CHIRPP

Entire CHIRPP database, as of May 1998, all ages


SUMMARY (175 records)

Injuries associated with fireworks were sustained most frequently by 10-14 year olds (42.3%). Of all injuries related to fireworks, 77.1% were to males. Over a third of the injuries (38.9%) occurred between the hours of 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. The injuries peaked in the days surrounding Halloween (20.0%), Victoria Day (15.4%) and Canada Day (8.6%). All injuries around Halloween were in Western Canada, while all injuries around Victoria Day were in Central Canada. Many injuries occurred around the patient's own home, 34.3%. Many patients were injured when the firework exploded while it was in their hands (28.0%). Overall, the most frequent types of injury were burns, 61.5%, and the body part most often affected was the head (39.7%). Eye injuries accounted for 20.6% of the injuries, approximately ten times higher than the average for all injuries in the CHIRPP database. Injuries that required advice only or minor treatment accounted for 30.9% of patients, while 56.6% of patients needed medical follow-up after leaving the emergency department and 12.6% were admitted to hospital. The percentage of firework injuries requiring hospitalization was approximately two times higher than the average for all injuries in the CHIRPP database.



SPECIFICATIONS OF THE SEARCH

In May 1998, a search of the entire CHIRPP database (777,901 records) was conducted. No age restriction was specified in the search. Records were selected i) if they contained a factor code for fireworks or firecrackers (code 795) or ii) if the text fields contained the following strings: "FIREWORK", "FIRECRACKER", "FEU D'ARTIFICE", "PETARD", "SKY ROCKET", "BOMBSHELL", "MORTAR", "FLARE", "SPARKLER", "ROMAN CANDLE" or "CATHERINE WHEEL". Selected records were then scanned and eliminated if the injury was not directly related to fireworks. The total number of records identified was 175.


OVERALL OCCURRENCE

The proportion of records in the entire CHIRPP database accounted for by firework-related injuries was 0.02%. The proportion of firework-related injuries has remained stable over time in the CHIRPP database.

AGE AND SEX DISTRIBUTION OF INJURIES

 

NUMBER

PERCENT OF
INJURIES

% MALE*

NUMBER/
100,000 **

< 1 year

2

1.1

100.0

7

1 year

5

2.9

80.0

8

2-4 years

15

8.6

60.0

11

5-9 years

42

24.0

69.1

26

10-14 years

74

42.3

83.8

38

15-19 years

28

16.0

75.0

36

20+ years

9

5.1

88.9

8

Total

175

100.0

77.1

23

* Of all injuries in the CHIRPP database, 59.6% were sustained by males.
** The number of firework injuries per 100,000 CHIRPP injuries of all types within the age group indicated. Because CHIRPP collects information from ten children's hospitals and only six of the general hospitals, there is a high number of young children in the database. Using number per 100,000 within an age group (instead of overall percent by age group) adjusts for different age group distributions.



TIME AT WHICH INJURY OCCURRED

 

NUMBER

PERCENT OF
INJURIES

8:00 a.m. to noon

18

10.3

Noon to 4 p.m.

31

17.7

4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

23

13.1

8 p.m. to midnight *

71

40.6

Unknown

32

18.3

Total

175

100.0

* Over a third of the injuries (40.6%) occurred between the hours of 8 p.m. and midnight: 22 (12.6%) occurred between 8 and 9 p.m., 27 (15.4%) between 9 and 10 p.m., 19 (10.9%) between 10 and 11 p.m. and 3 (1.7%) after 11 p.m.


DAY DURING WHICH INJURY OCCURRED

 

NUMBER

PERCENT OF
INJURIES

Sunday

34

19.4

Monday

34

19.4

Tuesday

16

9.1

Wednesday

24

13.7

Thursday

15

8.6

Friday

12

6.9

Saturday

40

22.9

Total

175

100.0


TIME OF YEAR DURING WHICH INJURY OCCURRED

The injuries peaked in the days surrounding Halloween, Victoria Day and Canada Day. All injuries around Halloween were in Western Canada, while all injuries around Victoria Day were in Central Canada. The injuries around Canada Day were spread across the country.

 

NUMBER

PERCENT OF
INJURIES

Halloween (Oct. 24 - Nov. 2)

35

20.0

Victoria Day (May 16 - 23)

27

15.4

Canada Day (June 29 - July 3)

15

8.6

No pattern detected

98

56.0

Total

175

100.0


CIRCUMSTANCES AND FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO INJURY

Note: The following is a list of frequently occurring circumstances and factors in injuries related to fireworks. Each patient was assigned to a single category and percentages were based on 175 persons injured. Category assignment was based on the level of detail available in the description of the injury.

 

NUMBER

PERCENT OF
INJURIES

Firework exploded while in hands

49

28.0

Burned by firework while playing with it or by being within proximity to it (no explosion involved)

40

22.9

Injured as a spectator of fireworks

34

19.4

Firework exploded near patient

30

17.1

Firework thrown at patient (consequences unspecified)

16

9.1

Glass bottle which contained firework injured patient when firework exploded

2

1.1

Other

4

2.3

Total

175

100.0


WHERE THE INJURY OCCURRED

 

NUMBER

PERCENT OF
INJURIES

Own home

60

34.3

garage, yard
living, sleeping area
kitchen
hall
basement
unspecified

43
5
2
1
1
8

 

Other home

7

4.0

garage, yard
kitchen
living, sleeping area
unspecified

4
1
1
1

Public park

25

14.3

Road, sidewalk, parking lot

18

10.3

School

9

5.1

playground
unspecified

7
2

Commercial area

6

3.4

Place for arts

4

2.3

Sports facility

2

1.1

Other

8

4.6

Unknown

36

20.6

Total

175

100.0


TYPE OF FIREWORK INVOLVED IN INJURY

 

NUMBER

PERCENT OF
INJURIES

Firecracker *

75

42.9

Firework, not further specified

73

41.7

Sparkler

20

11.4

Roman candle

3

1.7

Flare gun

2

1.1

Screamer

1

0.6

Cannon

1

0.6

Total

175

100.0

* Fireworks are a general term used to describe a type of explosive; firecrackers are small fireworks used solely as noisemakers. It is unclear whether the patients reporting the injuries are making a clear distinction between the two terms or whether they are using them interchangeably.


NATURE OF INJURY AND BODY PART INJURED

Up to three injuries may be specified for each record. Forty-five patients (25.7%) sustained more than one injury, 35 patients (20.0%) sustained two injuries and 10 patients (5.7%) sustained three.

 

NUMBER

PERCENT OF
INJURIES

Burn, corrosion

139

60.4

hand, finger
head, neck
forearm, wrist
upper leg, knee
trunk
upper arm
foot
lower leg, ankle

76
34
7
7
5
5
3
2

Eye injury

43

18.7

Bruise, abrasion, inflammation

14

6.1

head
hand, finger
wrist
lower leg

8
4
1
1

Foreign body

12

5.2

eye
gastrointestinal tract
unspecified

10
1
1

Cut, laceration

11

4.8

hand, finger
head, neck
lower leg, ankle
pelvis

4
3
3
1

Partial or complete amputation

3

1.3

hand, finger

3

Fracture

2

0.9

hand, finger

2

Nerve injury

1

0.4

hand

1

No injury detected, unknown

5

2.2

Total

230

100.0


TREATMENT PROVIDED IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

 

NUMBER

PERCENT OF
INJURIES

Left without being seen

0

0.0

Advice only, or treatment with no need for follow-up

54

30.9

Treated, medical follow-up required

99

56.6

Admitted to hospital

22

12.6 *

Fatal injury

0 **

0.0

Total

175

100.0

* The percentage of all CHIRPP injuries that resulted in hospital admission was 6.2%.
** Fatalities counted by CHIRPP include only those patients who were dead on arrival at the emergency department or who died in the emergency department. They do not include people who died before they could be taken to hospital or those who died after hospital admission. Only 0.03% of all CHIRPP injuries were fatal.


PROFILE OF PATIENTS ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL

Of the 22 patients admitted to hospital, 20 patients were males and 2 were females; 17 patients were aged 10-14 years, 3 were aged 15-19 years, 1 was aged 5-9 years and another was 20 years or older.

A total of 11 patients were injured when the firework exploded in the patient's hands, 4 were injured when a firework exploded near them, 2 were burned by the firework while playing with it, 2 were injured when a firework was thrown at them, 1 was injured as a spectator of fireworks, 1 was injured while he was playing with firecrackers and gas and the gas caught fire and another was injured while playing with a cap gun and received firecrackers in the neck.

Burns were sustained by 12 patients (2 of the head, one of the forearm, 7 of the hand or finger, 1 of the lower leg and 1 of the foot). Four patients injured their eye. Three patients sustained a partial or complete amputation to their hand or finger. Two patients suffered cuts or lacerations (one of the neck and one of the pelvis) and 1 patient suffered an injury to a nerve of the hand.


SUGGESTED REFERENCE AND REPORTING INFORMATION

This report and data from it may be copied and circulated freely, provided that the source is acknowledged. The following citation is recommended:

Injury data were obtained from the database of the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP), Public Health Agency of Canada.

If data from this report are included in any other document or publication, it should be noted, where appropriate, that the information comes from sixteen hospitals (ten pediatric and six general) across Canada.

For additional information on the CHIRPP program, please contact the Child Injury Section, Public Health Agency of Canada by phone at (613) 941-9918 or by FAX at (613) 941-9927.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: