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N Z Med J. 1994 Oct 26;107(988):423-5.

Firework related injury in New Zealand.

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Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin.



In March 1992 a private members Bill was introduced into parliament which sought to place tighter restrictions on the sale of fireworks. The primary purpose of this research was to document the nature and extent of firework related injury in New Zealand for the purpose of preparing a submission on this Bill.


Firework related injuries were examined in relation to the legislative history of fireworks control in New Zealand to ascertain if existing regulations had been effective in reducing firework injuries and whether there was justification for greater control.


Between 1979 and 1992 (inclusive) 237 persons were admitted to hospital for treatment of injuries related to fireworks. The overall incidence rate for this period was 0.52 per 100,000 persons per year. Eighty five percent of all events involved males. Children (< 15 years) comprised 68% of the victims with the 10-14 year age group having the highest rate of injury, at 2.5 per 100,000 persons per year.


The authors concluded that, on the basis of morbidity, it may be premature to impose a complete ban on the public sale of fireworks (as is proposed in the Bill). The current legislation could well be supported though, by extending the ban on the types of fireworks publicly available to include skyrockets.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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