Maui Reports 4 Fireworks Related Injuries
By Wendy Osher
Four out of the nine neighbor island firework injuries reported around the 4th of July occurred in Maui County. The nine neighbor island injuries–Maui (4), Kauai (1) and the Big Island (4)–were the highest total for the outer islands in five years, according to the state’s Injury Prevention and Control Program.
Meantime, there were no fireworks-related injuries treated in O’ahu hospitals during this year’s 4th of July period. That is in comparison to the annual average of 17 injuries on O’ahu over the previous eight years of monitoring conducted by the state Department of Health.
Health officials say the lack of injuries this year is likely due to the decreased use of fireworks among O’ahu residents, in accordance with the fireworks ban enacted on January 2, 2011. The O’ahu legislation bans the use of novelty fireworks, but does allow for the use of 5,000 firecrackers with the purchase of a permit.
Here on Maui, novelty items and paperless firecrackers are still permissible—including sparklers, snakes, fountains and cylindrical or cone fountains that emit effects of 12-feet or less; firecrackers are also allowed, with the acquisition of proper permits, but were not sold this year because local retailers did not import them. (Click here to read our previous post and interview with Maui Fire Chief Jeff Murray and his thoughts about a potential Fireworks Ban on Maui.)
Health officials say all nine of the patients treated on the neighbor islands took private transport to the hospitals, and all were eventually discharged from emergency departments. Their ages ranged from 7 to 27 years, and about 56% were under the age of 18. All of the injuries were burns, most commonly burns to the hands.