More than 100 people across Indiana suffered injuries from fireworks during the week of July Fourth, according to a State Department of Health report.
Indiana hospitals treated 156 people for fireworks-related injuries from Jan. 1 to Aug. 1, with 126 of those injuries happening between June 30 and July 7, said the report released Monday.
That number of fireworks-related injuries, however, was down about 40 percent from last year, when 251 were reported through July.
“While we have seen a decrease in the number of injured people from last year, we are still concerned about the number of Hoosiers being badly hurt by fireworks each year, especially children,” said Dr. Charlene Graves, the health agency’s medical director for injury prevention.
Graves said nearly 70 percent of this year’s fireworks injuries have been burns, mostly to the fingers and hands. The report found that 48 percent of the total injuries involved children and adolescents, with 61 percent of those wounds happening with an adult present.
“They don’t understand the dangers of fireworks, so it is important that parents are aware of how they can protect their children,” Graves said.
State law allows the use of fireworks every day from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., with an extension to midnight on holidays such as the Fourth of July and New Year’s. It requires they be shot off on the user’s property or another’s with the owner’s permission.
The health agency said fireworks use on private property accounted for more than 83 percent of this year’s reported injuries.
A new state law approved this year allows local governments to restrict or ban the use of fireworks except during 12 days of the year around the Fourth of July and New Year’s.
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