Illinois preps for firework injuries despite continued ban

Woman’s foot severed in West Lawn fireworks accident

CHICAGO — Illinois officials say fireworks-related injuries are becoming a growing danger on Independence Day despite the state’s ban on most consumer fireworks.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says at least 2,000 people statewide have been injured by fireworks over the last decade. That number includes a record 349 people hurt by fireworks last year.

The Chicago Tribune reports that catastrophic injuries also increased in that time. The state fire marshal’s office says Illinois hospitals treated 16 dismemberment or amputation injuries in peak summertime months last year, well above 2015’s six cases.

Fireworks are illegal in Illinois, but residents still find them in neighboring states that legalized fireworks for tax revenue.

Dr. Stathis Poulakidas is the burn unit director at Chicago’s Stroger Hospital. He expects dozens of firework patients this weekend amid holiday festivities.