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Health & Science

Amateur Fireworks Over Fourth of July Weekend Cause Injuries and Death

A photo of used cannisters of fireworks
Andy Chow
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Health experts say it's never safe for untrained individuals to set off fireworks, as evidenced by emergency room visits for serious injuries resulting from the explosions this past Fourth of July weekend.

A Columbus Blue Jackets goalkeeper died this past weekend as a result of injuries sustained from a fireworks accident. Health experts warn there's no guaranteed safe way to be around fireworks.

According to emergency responders and witnesses at the party, Matiss Kivlenieks was not the one lighting the fireworks.

Jennifer Walker of University Hospitals says this means you never know when something can go
wrong.

"They're unpredictable. They're explosives," she said. "There are some safer ways to use them, but in terms of truly being safe, our recommendation is to not have individuals setting off fireworks."

At MetroHealth, eight fireworks-related cases required trauma level care over the weekend. Health
officials expect more cases to come in as burn injuries set in 24-48 hours later.

Metrohealth's burn program coordinator Andrew Neading says he expects to see more
fireworks-related injuries and deaths, even after the end of the Independence Day weekend.

Neading on expecting more injuries and deaths from fireworks

"People out there will be celebrating the Fourth of July next weekend and really throughout the
summer. It's not limited to just the holiday," he said.

Neading says people also might have been injured over the weekend but delayed going to the
hospital because pain can peak 24 to 48 hours after the injury. He says alcohol is often a contributing factor, so he recommends drinking responsibly and monitoring children around fireworks.