Not long after the sale and use of consumer fireworks were legalized in Iowa in 2017, the number of fireworks related injuries went up when compared to preceding years. The severity of the injuries, the number of teens injured while handling fireworks, and the number of bystanders injured all rose presumably due to easier access to fireworks and limited supervision.
A University of Iowa study reveals that fireworks injuries more than doubled in 2017, with nearly 60 percent of injured parties requiring surgery compared to 20 percent in previous years. Hospitalizations also increased, with 48 percent of patients being admitted for their injuries compared to 20 percent on average before legalization.
Perhaps most troubling is the fact there has been a 26 percent increase in firework injury patients under the age of 18, including an Eastern Iowa teenager who was gravely wounded while shooting off fireworks with friends, marking the first firework fatality since fireworks became legal in the state.
Although many cities and counties prohibit private displays, the incidents of injury continue to climb. From sparklers to the now larger fireworks in circulation across the state, it is important for youth, parents, and property owners to understand the risks and work to combat firework accidents as we approach the Fourth of July weekend.
If you or a family member is injured in a fireworks accident due to negligence, contact the personal injury law offices of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson P.C. for immediate assistance at 563-355-6478.