Tips to celebrate safe Diwali

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Restrict children especially those less than age of 10years, says expert,
In case of burns injuries, do not apply ice on the injury. Use cold water

Diwali is a festival of lights, fun, fireworks and feasting. It is celebrated to express happiness on the victory of good over evil. The splendid firework display increases the beauty of the festival. Every year, several accidents are seen on the days of Diwali. Majorities of these accidents are preventable and every attempt should be made to prevent it.

Dr (Col) M Dayananda, COO & Medical Superintendent, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal said, “While using the fireworks and crackers and even the lamps, a lot of care and caution is required to be exercised. The emergency services of most hospitals report a rise in burn cases during this time. Last year, the Burns Care Centre, Kasturba hospital, Manipal reported more burns cases on Diwali day from this area. Besides burns, other injuries like the damage to limbs and body, the loss of eyesight and bursting of eardrums may also occur”.

Dr (Col) M Dayananda said that a 24 Hour Emergency Hotline  257 5555 would be functioning at Kasturba Hospital, Manipal.

Dr N C Sreekumar, Head, Dept. of Plastic Surgery & Burns Care Specialist, Kasturba Hospital, Manipal says that it only needs supervision and vigilance on the part of those celebrating the festival using the crackers and lighted lamps. Dr Sreekumar says that children below the age of 10 should be restricted from crackers. Maintaining atleast Arms length distance from the crackers while lighting them is a safer practice. If any burns injury occurs, use cold water to apply in the area. Do not use ice on burns injury as it may damage the surrounding tissues. Dr. N C Sreekumar suggests few ‘Guidelines to celebrate a safe Diwali’:

While buying the crackers:

Buy better quality fireworks from authorized/licensed shops. Make sure the packet is intact and instructions for use are printed clearly.

While preparing for using fireworks

Wear close-fitting cotton clothes.
Make a first aid box, a bucket of water and a wet towel ready.
Always keep the fireworks to be used in a closed box. Don’t put fireworks in the pocket.
Keep the regulators of LPG cylinders turned off and do not keep the cylinders in balconies or open spaces to keep them protected from stray rockets.
Do not consume alcohol prior to fireworks display.
Do not ignite near inflammable objects, liquids.

While using Crackers:

Children under 10 years of age should be restricted from bursting firecrackers. Children in higher age category should do it under close supervision of elders.

Light crackers at arm’s length. Crackers should never be ignited while holding them in the hand and point the firecrackers away from themselves. Children may want to show off, but it has a very high chance of causing injury.

Anar or the Flower pot crackers should be ignited using an agarbati or a sparkler to maintain a desirable distance between the cracker and the hand else it can cause injuries to hand, eyes and chest wall. Do not bend over anars.

Never burst crackers in closed places.

Light one firecracker at a time. Lighting rows of firecrackers should be avoided. Aerial firecrackers should be lit in an open field and never in closed compounds.
Rockets can directly land upon and injure people.
Clothing, decorations and hangings can catch fire.
Light fireworks from the side. Move away quickly once they are lit and do not return to them. They may explode unexpectedly.
Throwing lighted fireworks may injure a bystander. Do not throw them here and there.
Disposal of the crackers after they are spent is mostly ignored. Half burnt crackers should either be doused in water or in sand.
Wear cotton or hosiery garments rather than silks and polyesters. The latter catch fire very easily and stick to the body making even a small injury assumes dangerous proportions. Always wear footwear while lighting crackers. Never wear clothes with loose strings or flowing sashes. Children should preferably be dressed in trousers/pyjamas rather than frocks or elaborate dresses. Loosen all tight clothing or accessories that the person is wearing. Accessories would include bangles, belts, tiles, rings etc.
Make children wear footwear that is comfortable, closed and easy to run in.

II. While Using Large Scale Firework display in Public Area

  • Do not keep unprotected pile of crackers near the site of cracker show.
  • Do not arrange the Firework display in busy, crowded and congested areas.
  • Viewers should maintain safe distance from the fireworks.III. First aid tips for immediate attention:
  • If a person’s clothes catch fire, wrap him in a blanket and roll him on the ground to douse the fire or drench the person in water.
  • Do not panic if blisters form as it indicate that the injury is superficial and will heal.
  • Do not allow the person to run about as air fans the flames and makes burn worse.
  • Get the burned person out of closed spaces into the open air.
  • Pour clean water over burnt parts.
  • In case of serious burns, do not try and remove the clothing since some of it may be stuck to the body. Instead, just wrap the patient in clean clothes and seek help.
  • Keep the burnt parts of the body elevated than the rest.
  • Rush to hospital with Burns Care Facility and specialist.
  • Consult an ophthalmologist in case of eye injuries.IV. In case of minor burns

Clean the area gently with cool water and cover with a clean, dry cloth. Do not apply cotton.
 Do not apply ice on the burnt area.
 In case the eye is affected, wash with cold water immediately for some time.
 If required rush to hospital with burns care facility.

i) In case of any major fire call –
i) Fire control room (Tel : 101)
ii) Security officer for help
ii) In case Medical assistance is required call for an ambulance from the nearest hospital
iii) In case you are not using LPG and fireworks is being displaced in nearby area,
please disconnect the regulator from cylinder.

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