In total 1,213 people went or were taken to hospital A&E departments or out-of-hours clinics with firework-related injuries during the New Year’s Eve festivities, according injury research group VeiligheidNL. That is down just 40 on last year, and in line with figures from pre-coronavirus days.
Of them, 365 were taken to hospital immediately, and almost one third of these patients had been injured by powerful, illegal fireworks. Half the total number of victims were under the age of 30 and 75% were male.
“One very worrying development is the obvious increase in younger victims,” VeiligheidNL said. Twelve to 15-year-olds accounted for over a third of the patients injured by illegal firecrackers. Last year, this age group accounted for 13% of the victims.
Plastic surgeons said earlier in the week that they had been treating more, younger victims.
In particular, eye specialists treated 156 people with firework-related damage this year, according to preliminary figures. That is a rise of 23 on 2022.
“These figures again show what a destructive impact fireworks can have when things go wrong,” director Martijntje Bakker said. “There is a reason why these fireworks are illegal and we are even more worried that so many young victims have been able to get hold of them.”
Plastic surgeons and eye specialists have called for a total ban on fireworks.
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