Within the past week a 10-year-old boy in St. Louis lost four fingers after a firework exploded in his hand. That boy has already had two surgeries to try and repair damage he suffered and may require more in the future.
Police say the accident happened last weekend when the boy and his brother had gone for a walk in their St. Louis neighborhood and happened upon an unexploded firework. The boy's mother says her son described the item as like a small, silver bomb with strings coming out of both ends. The boys lit the firework and it ended up blowing up directly in the 10-year-old's hand, ultimately severing four fingers.
The boy's mother says only the boy's thumb was saved by doctors and that her son is in good spirits despite the pain of facing several more surgeries. St. Louis police say the arson unit is handling an investigation into the incident and will be working to uncover precisely what the explosive was and whether it could have come from a house that is known in the neighborhood for selling fireworks.
The St. Louis case tragically illustrates how dangerous fireworks can be, especially for young children. As the Fourth of July nears, many families buy fireworks as a fun way to relax over the holiday. However, safety experts point to the nearly 5,000 injuries that occurred within a few weeks of July 4th last year as evidence for how seriously the items should be taken.
According to numbers gathered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, firecrackers, bottle rockets and sparklers cause the most injuries each year. Just like this case demonstrates, the bulk of all firework-related accidents occur in the two-week period on either side of July 4th, with 60 percent of the nearly 9,000 fireworks injuries occurring during that time frame.
Most of the injuries that take place each year involve severe burns to the hands, head and face. Twenty percent of all injuries come from sparklers and bottle rockets, two of the fireworks most often viewed as safe for young children to play with. Experts say the fact is there are no truly safe fireworks and that parents should be very careful when allowing their children around the potentially explosive devices.
Not only do fireworks lead to serious and debilitating injuries, but they can also led to death. In 2012, the CPSC says that six people died in fireworks-related accidents, including a teenage boy from Arkansas who bundled 300 sparklers together. When the crudely assembled device was lit it led to a massive explosion, ultimately killing the teen.
Though fireworks are seen as a valued tradition to many, experts say the safe bet is to leave the holiday displays to the experts. Rather than try and put on your own spectacle, take the family down to a public show put on by trained professionals. It's the only way to ensure that your family avoids suffering one of the thousands of injuries related to firework that occur each year.
If you or someone you love has been injured by fireworks this year, please do not hesitate to call one of our Missouri and Illinois personal injury attorneys today at 1-314-863-0500.
Source: "St. Louis boy loses 4 fingers in fireworks accident," by Jennifer Mann, published at STLToday.com.
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