§ Mr. Matthew Banks
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many firework-related injuries were referred to hospitals in the period around 5 November 1993.
§ Mr. McLoughlin
According to reports from accident and emergency units in hospitals in England, Wales and Scotland, 1,058 people required treatment for injuries caused by fireworks, an increase of 12 per cent. over the total number of injuries reported in 1992.
A breakdown of the figures for 1993 and for the previous four years by region, type of injury and kind of firework involved is being placed today in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
Virtually half the injuries were due to illegal misuse of fireworks in the streets or public places—338—and to sparklers—189. Injuries in the 16 to 20-year age group were 12 per cent. lower than in 1992.
Notwithstanding annual average sales of 100 million fireworks, I remain concerned at the number of firework injuries.
My Department is in touch with representatives of the fireworks industry and of enforcement authorities to discuss ways in which firework injuries can be reduced.