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June 29, 1940

Current Comment

JAMA. 1940;114(26):2555. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810260041012

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FOURTH OF JULY  Already the American Medical Association has circularized hospitals, dispensaries and other institutions in the United States with a view to compiling within the near future a record of accidents and mortality resulting from injuries on the Fourth of July due to ignorant or too enthusiastic employment of fireworks. Many states have already adopted effective antifireworks legislation; but last year at least 5,560 people were injured, and at least thirteen died as the result of such celebrations. The majority of cases were mutilations received by boys or men who used home-made explosives, and burns of little girls whose dresses were set on fire by sparklers and fire crackers. In 1938 Pennsylvania led all other states, with six deaths from fireworks. In 1939 the records indicated that there was not one death in that state. It is about time that every state in the Union adopted effective antifireworks legislation.

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