By Wendy Osher
There were a total of 25 fireworks related injuries that were treated at Emergency Departments in Hawaii during the period between December 31, 2011 and January 2, 2012.
The amount of injuries was the lowest total for the state since monitoring began 12 years ago. State authorities say it’s also more than 4 times lower than the annual average of 96 injuries over the last 5 years.
Most of the decrease was seen in Honolulu County, which reported only 15 injuries this year, down significantly from the 79 injuries reported last year prior to the implementation of a Honolulu County fireworks ban on specified items.
State Health officials say this year’s low total validates the effectiveness of the Honolulu County ordinance to regulate fireworks use.
For the neighbor islands, there were a total of 7 injuries, the lowest combined total for recorded to date. The breakdown included four injuries on Kauai, 2 in Hawaii County and 4 injuries in Maui County.
The data was collected from 22 hospitals across the state and two health centers (including Hana in East Maui and Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center on Oahu).
The Injury Prevention Program of the Hawaii Department of Health noted that the age of patients ranged from 3 to 55 years, with nearly half, under the age of 18, and most of the patients being male.
Most of the patients were discharged from the emergency rooms, but 5 were admitted to hospitals with serious injuries. Two required EMS transport.
Most (88%) patients were injured while setting off or holding the firework; 12% were injured while observing.