More people treated for firework injuries at New Year as ban is widely ignored
Despite the nationwide ban on most fireworks, 773 people were treated for firework related injuries during the New Year festivities, according to public safety body VeiligheidNL.
This is double the 2020 total, when there was also a ban on all but the lightest variety, VeiligheidNL said.
Health officials say 256 people were treated at a hospital accident and emergency department, and 517 at family doctor clinics. The total is still 40% down on 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
In particular, there was an increase in the number of under-12s injured by fireworks – from 120 in 2020 to 190. Almost half of them had been lighting fireworks themselves and almost half were injured by fireworks in the F1, or least powerful category, which were not banned.
Burns were the most common injury, followed by eye injuries. Several people had to have their hands or fingers amputated.
VeiligheidNL director Martijntje Bakker said that a firework ban is not enough to reduce the number of victims. ‘Whatever types of fireworks are allowed, age limits and safety precautions are obviously not clear to everyone,’ she said. ‘A focus on proper information remains essential.’
Political parties GroenLinks and the pro-animal PvdD are planning to force a parliamentary vote on whether the ban should be made permanent.
According to a poll of the viewers of television programme EenVandaag, there is only a majority against a ban among supporters of far right Forum voor Democratie and pro-farming party BBB.
Even among supporters of Geert Wilder’s far right PVV, 46% are in favour of forbidding fireworks and only 47% say an outright ban would be a bad thing.
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