Even though fireworks are illegal in both Virginia Beach and Norfolk, injuries related to the Independence Day celebration staple have remained prevalent over the years.
Nationwide in 2017 alone, there were at least eight deaths and 12,900 injuries from fireworks-related incidents, with more than 36 percent of injuries involving children younger than 15 years old, according to the most recent figures from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Dr. Jay Collins, medical director of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital level one trauma center, said the best way to avoid injuries caused by fireworks is to leave it to the experts.
“It is best to go to a show and let the professionals light the fireworks,” he said.
Collins said hand injuries from lighting firecrackers and fireworks frequent the emergency department around July 4, but other parts of the body can suddenly become affected as well.
“Sometimes fireworks can explode or ignite too quickly and cause painful flash burns to the face, chest, and arms,” he said.
As we progress through what the AAA Tidewater Virginia calls the “100 Deadliest Days,” Collins noted his team also treats these common injuries more frequently during the summer months:
- Water-related accidents including drowning, spinal injuries from diving into shallow or unknown waters, and boating or watercraft-related accidents.
- Increase in motor vehicle crashes, including motorcycles and impaired or drunk driving crashes.
- Summer burns to the feet from walking without sandals on the hot sand.
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