By Dr Vinod Prem Anand, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Fortis Malar Hospital, Adyar
In the excitement of celebrating the festival of lights, it’s also important for us to be cautious so that we can enjoy this day safely with our loved ones. It is important to revive on our dos and don’ts for Diwali to avoid unfortunate mishaps. Bursting of crackers is not only a joy for children but also for everybody and we cannot ignore the risk factors involved like fire accidents, burns and injuries. Also pollution is another hazard caused by emission of smoke from the chemicals contained in the fire crackers that will have an impact on health. Besides it also causes sound pollution when high decibel noise is released from bursting of crackers. Though most of us are familiar with the precautions, here are some of the dos & don’ts for ready reference to refresh our memory.
DO read and follow the label instructions on the crackers.
DO have water handy (garden hose and bucket) to soak fireworks after firing.
DO store the crackers in a dry place away from inflammable materials like gas, stove, electric appliances etc.,
DO keep emergency ambulance number in a visible part of the house, where one can contact in emergency.
DO keep blankets and buckets of water accessible. Water is the best way to douse off accidental fires and accidental burns.
DO burst crackers in open space like parks, grounds etc. Maintain 2-3 feet distance from crackers.
DO use a long incense sticks for lighting fireworks. They add to the safety distance.
Children should always burst crackers under the supervision of adults.
Put cotton plugs in your ears to avoid damage to your ears, as the noise of crackers can be quite deafening.
DON’T light fireworks in metal or glass containers.
DON’T carry fireworks in your pocket. They’re explosives and can go off prematurely even if they’re not lit.
DON’T hold crackers and light them in your hands. It can leave you seriously injured.
DON’T try to examine a cracker that has not burst.
Avoid lose inflammable clothing instead wear fitting cotton clothes. Use goggles and other protective equipments to avoid injury to eye and other body parts.
OTHER GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS
In case of any accident the person must be taken out from the site of explosion and taken to a safe place and injury must be treated.
Small burns on the skin can be treated by applying ointments like ‘Silver Sulfadiazine’. Do not apply butter, grease, powder, or any other remedies to the burn, as this increase the risk of infection.
When there is breathing difficulty because of burns, one should not pour water over but instead cover the individual by non- flammable material, move to an airy environment and call for ambulance at 102.
Children/adults with grievous injury should not travel in their car, instead call an ambulance as the treatment can be started at the earliest and the time they reach hospital also can be substantially reduced as the golden hour is one hour after the incident.