Festival of Lights
Deepawali, known as the festival of Lights, signifies the triumph of goodness over darkness and the illumination of spiritual enlightenment. The term “Deepawali” itself connotes the arrangement of diyas, or clay lamps. This occasion is meant for joyous celebrations with friends and family, fostering cherished moments together.
Display of fireworks/ bursting crackers is common during these festive days.
The act of bursting crackers contributes to pollution and environmental harm, leading to distress for animals, birds, and individuals who are unwell. It particularly affects those with dust allergies.
Despite these concerns, some individuals still engage in bursting crackers. It’s crucial to understand and implement safety measures to ensure a joyous yet safe Deepavali celebration.
Statistics reveal that 39% of firework-related injuries involve children under 15 years of age. Lack of parental supervision and failure to maintain a safe distance from firecrackers are significant contributing factors.
Additionally, injuries often occur due to the practice of igniting firecrackers in the streets, posing a risk to passers-by, with nearly 40% of firework-related injuries being sustained by bystanders.
Common Injuries that can be caused during bursting fireworks:
The highest number of injuries are linked to flowerpot and bottle rocket crackers, with burns being the most prevalent type of injury.
Following hands and fingers, eyes stand as the second-most affected area. Contusions (blood clots), lacerations (cuts), and instances of foreign objects entering the eye are commonly observed. Bottle rockets have the potential to fly into people’s faces, leading to eye injuries, while exploding crackers at close range can severely damage eyesight.
These eye injuries, particularly in children, could result in vision loss. During Deepavali, fireworks can cause blunt and penetrating injuries to approximately 6% to 10% of individuals. Moreover, the considerably elevated levels of nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide during this period lead to eye irritability and increased watering.
– Always ensure that an adult supervises children when using fireworks.
– Clear the fireworks area of any flammable materials.
– Adhere to all safety guidelines provided with the fireworks.
– Use a long agarbathi for ignition as they burn without an open flame, offering a safer distance between your hands and the fireworks.
– Have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water nearby.
– Only light fireworks outdoors.
– Wear protective goggles when lighting fireworks to prevent eye injuries.
– Light only one cracker at a time and hold sparklers away from the body.
– For flying fireworks like rockets, wear thick clothing and proper footwear.
– Seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist in the event of an eye injury.
– Avoid giving fireworks to young children.
– Refrain from igniting fireworks while holding them.
– Do not place fireworks in any container for ignition.
– Avoid mixing the contents of fireworks or attempting to make them at home.
– Do not light aerial fireworks where overhead obstructions like trees or wires could obstruct their path.
– Avoid igniting aerial fireworks close to building openings.
– Never attempt to re-light a firework that hasn’t burned correctly. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and then submerge it in a bucket of water.
– Do not throw or aim fireworks at others.
– Refrain from carrying fireworks in your pockets.
– Avoid shooting fireworks in metal or glass containers.
– In the case of eye injuries, while doctors can attempt to repair the damage, extensive harm may surpass the limit of medical intervention.
– Refrain from pressing or rubbing the eye with your palm or hand to avoid worsening the injury.
– Avoid tying a cloth tightly around the eye, as this can put unnecessary pressure on it; instead, shield the eye with a protective cup or shield.
– In case of a chemical injury, thoroughly wash the eye with clean water. For mechanical injuries, it’s generally better to avoid washing the eyes.
– Regardless of how minor an eye injury appears, do not disregard it. It’s crucial to promptly address any potential vision-threatening issues.
– If a particle is large or firmly lodged in the eye, do not try to remove it. Keep the eyes closed and seek immediate medical attention from an eye doctor.
– In the case of a chemical entering the eyes, wash the eyes and eyelids with water for at least 30 minutes and consult an eye doctor without delay. Firecrackers may contain harmful chemicals like carbon, manganese, and sulphur that can damage the eyes.
– When setting off fireworks, ensure that missiles and other types of fireworks are ignited in open areas, aiming directly upwards to minimize pollution levels.
– After use, dispose of fireworks in a bucket of water.
– Wear close-fitting clothes to minimize risks.
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