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April 5, 1985

Injuries From Fireworks-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Washington Seattle
Office of Public Health Laboratories & Epidemiology Seattle

JAMA. 1985;253(13):1878. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350370058016

In Reply.—  We would like to address four points Mr Haarmann raised about our study of fireworks-related injuries. First, we did not conclude that "all fireworks are dangerous." In fact, we demonstrated that although 36% of injuries identified by active surveillance were caused by ground-display devices, the high proportion reflected device popularity, and not an increased risk of injury associated with use (odds ratio [OR], 0.9). However, firecrackers and aerial devices were associated with an elevated risk of injury above and beyond their popularity (OR, 3.3 and 2.9, respectively).Second, circumstances at the time of injury were not substantially different for devices that were legal or illegal under federal law. Of 66 injuries associated with legal devices, 62% were attributable to misuse, 17% to malfunction, and 21% to other circumstances. Of 22 injuries associated with illegal devices, 82% were attributable to misuse, 9% to malfunction, and 9% to other circumstances.