Fireworks apparently destroyed playground equipment in Zoetermeer, Zuid Holland. Jan. 1, 2015 (Jeroen Pronk, Veiligheidop1 / Twitter) - Credit: Fireworks apparently destroyed playground equipment in Zoetermeer, Zuid Holland. Jan. 1, 2015 (Jeroen Pronk, Veiligheidop1 / Twitter)
Monday, 5 January 2015 - 13:13
Nearly 600 treated for fireworks injuries
At least 574 people were treated for fireworks-related injuries in the Netherlands on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, according to safety firm VeiligheidNL. The organization says it is a sharp drop from last year's celebrations, when an additional 126 were hurt. It is the lowest amount of firework injuries since 2005. Restricting the firing time of the fireworks from previous 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. led to a significant drop in the victim numbers during the day on December 31st. The number of incidents on this day decreased from 23 percent to 8 percent of all accidents. Fewer people nationwide said they planned on purchasing fireworks versus a year ago. Half of the accident victims were bystanders not firing the fireworks by themselves. Over a third of the victims suffered injuries around their hands and fingers and almost a fourth was treated for injuries to the eyes. Despite the decrease in accidents, over a fifth of the wounded had to go through the emergency services in hospital, an amount that has never been this high. Also the amount as well as the severity of illegal fireworks accidents has increased substantially from the past year. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment commissioned VeiligheidNL to investigate the circumstances and type of fireworks causing injuries. Associations of eye doctors, emergency physicians and trauma physicians also contributed to the work, which is meant to help determine further ways to reduce the number of victims. VeiligheidNL also recommends more focus on controlling illegal fireworks to reverse the increase of serious victims.