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Fireworks-Related Injuries, King County, Washington, 1983 to 1985

Michael J. O'Leary, MD, MPH; Charles F. Evans, MPA; John M. Kobayashi, MD, MPH
JAMA. 1986;256(1):37-38. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380010041015.
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To the Editor.—  Each year in the United States, an estimated 8000 to 10 000 visits to the emergency department are prompted by fireworksrelated injuries.1 Since 1983, we have been conducting active surveillance for such injuries at 31 emergency facilities in King County, Washington, which includes Seattle.Until 1982, fireworks laws in Washington were restrictive, allowing only nonexplosive ground devices. In 1982 and 1983, most firecrackers and certain aerial display devices were added to the list of legal fireworks. In 1984, firecrackers reverted to illegal status, and in 1985 aerial devices became illegal in certain municipalities only.The number of fireworks-related injuries declined from 146 in 1983 to 121 in 1984 and to 107 in 1985. Fifty-two percent of the injured persons were younger than 16 years of age, and 70% of the injured were males. In all years, burns were common, accounting for 67% of all visits to


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