The Icelandic Medical Journal Publishes Report on Fireworks-Related Injuries Skip to content
New Year's Eve Fireworks in Reykjavík, 2017.
Photo: Golli. New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Reykjavík.

The Icelandic Medical Journal Publishes Report on Fireworks-Related Injuries

Using data gathered between 2010 and 2022, the Medical Journal of Iceland has released a report on fireworks-related injuries in Iceland.

The study searched through medical records between these years for reports of fireworks and information related to the circumstances and severity of the injuries.

In total, some 248 people were sent to the hospital during this time for fireworks-related injuries, ranging in age from only 9 months old to 79 years old.

See also: No Smoke Without Fireworks

A large proportion of injuries, 39%, were also found to have been caused by faulty fireworks. Rockets were found to be the most dangerous, accounting for 23% of all injuries, followed by multishot box fireworks, which accounted for 17% of all injuries.

Injuries to hands and eyes were most common, and across the period of the study, individuals were hospitalized for a combined total of 91 days due to their injuries.

The report concludes that “firework accidents are a significant problem in Iceland.” An average of 21 Icelanders end up in the emergency room every year due to fireworks-related accidents. The large majority of these accidents occur on New Year’s Eve and the first hours of the New Year.

Fireworks-related accidents also, perhaps unsurprisingly, show a strong gender bias, with some three out of four affected individuals being male. However, a more serious trend is the number of children affected, with just less than half of all injuries coming from minors. One preschool-aged child, on average, each year ends up in the emergency room, generally due to a lack of supervision.

Over the course of the entire study, most injuries were found to be relatively minor cuts and burns, but at least 13 people were identified as having suffered serious injuries. The study suggests an increased emphasis on the correct handling of fireworks, especially the use of safety glasses.

Given the relatively high frequency of fireworks-related injuries, the study also suggests “considering further restrictions on their import, sale, and use.”

The report can be read in its entirety here.

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