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Univ. of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics sees increase of fireworks-related injuries this time of year

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 5:52 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - According to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, burnt skin, hearing-loss, and eye damage are just some of the risks that come with setting off and watching fireworks.

Chair of Otolaryngology, or the ears/nose/throat department at UIHC, Dr. Marlan Hansen, expects an increase in fireworks related patients over the next two weeks.

“Mostly people doing them themselves, but even people who attend other fireworks and get too loud of a noise exposure and have some ringing in the ears or something because of that,” said Dr. Hansen.

He says the patients they, and the burn unit see are usually aware of the immediate risks of fireworks, but tend to take those on without understanding the long-term effects.

“Prolonged, loud noise exposure, repetitive loud bursts can cause some trauma,” said Dr. Hansen. “You can cause permanent inner ear damage from just a single loud explosion.”

While it’s illegal to set of your own fireworks in Iowa City without a permit, many still choose to do so.

Iowa City Fire Marshal, Brian Greer, says his department will also see an increase of fireworks-related incidents in the upcoming weeks.

“We recommend that if anybody wants to report it that they have an address and possibly some other information that would allow the police department to get a more accurate view,” said Greer.

He says while it’s hard to hold *everyone* who sets off fireworks within city limits accountable, the least those residents could do is to educate themselves on the risk and protect themselves and others from both external and internal injuries.

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