The CPSC study has a 95 percent confidence margin — meaning the number of actual injuries could vary by a few thousand in any given year. The data is collected from hospitals through the commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
Still, the sudden rise in injuries may be a cause for concern as the nation prepares for the Fourth of July holiday and families load up on sparklers, bottle rockets and other backyard pyrotechnics. The American Pyrotechnics Association in Bethesda, Md., predicts sales of consumer fireworks will exceed $675 million in 2014, an all-time record.
As one might expect, a majority of the fireworks-related injuries last year occurred in the month surrounding Independence Day. CPSC conducted an in-depth study of the 7,400 injuries reported between June 21, 2013, and July 21, 2013. Here's what they found:
- Men were more likely to be injured than women, 57 percent to 43 percent.
- Roughly half of the injured were 25 or younger. Children under 4 accounted for 14 percent of the injuries.
- Which fireworks caused the most injuries? Sparklers accounted for 2,300 of the 7,400 injuries reported during the in-depth study. The flickering wands burn at roughly 2,000 degrees, Adler noted, and often wind up in the hands of children.
- Hands and fingers were the body parts most likely to be burned or otherwise injured, accounting for 36 percent of injuries during the month-long study. They were followed by the head and face (22 percent), eye (16 percent) and leg (14 percent).
- A majority of the injuries weren't severe enough to require an extended hospital stay. An estimated 91 percent the injured were treated at the emergency room and released. Roughly 5 percent were treated and transferred to another hospital and approximately 3 percent were admitted to the hospital. The remaining 2 percent of victims left the hospital without being seen, according to the report.