Deepawali is a festival of Lights symbolising the victory of righteousness and lifting of spiritual darkness. The word ” Deepawali” refers to rows of diyas, or clay lamps. It is a time to have fun with friends & family!!
Display of fireworks/ bursting crackers is common during these festive days.
Bursting crackers causes pollution & harm the environment, it causes distress to animals & birds & to the sick. Those with dust allergies suffer a lot.
In spite of the above concerns, few still go ahead in bursting crackers. We need to be aware of the eye safety measures to ensure fun filled Deepavali.
Children under 15 years of age account for 39% of injuries. Absence of parental supervision and failure to maintain safe distance from firecrackers are a major contributing factor. Another cause for injuries is the common practice of igniting firecrackers in the streets, thus exposing passers-by to injury. Nearly 40% of fireworks injuries are borne by bystanders.
Majority of injuries are associated with flowerpot and bottle rocket crackers. Burns are the most common type injury.
Eyes are the second-most common area to be affected after hands and finger. Contusions (blood clots), lacerations(cuts) and foreign bodies in the eye are seen frequently. Bottle rockets can fly into people’s faces and cause eye injuries; crackers can damage the eyesight if they explode at a close range.
These eye injuries could cause loss of vision, especially in children. Cracker scan cause blunt and penetrating injuries to the about 6% to 10% during Deepavali, with nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide levels rise considerably which also cause irritability and watering of eyes.
- An adult should always supervise the use of fireworks by children.
- Remove all inflammable materials from the fireworks area.
- Follow all safety precautions issued with the fireworks.
- Use a long agarbathi to ignite fireworks. They burn without an open flame and provide a greater and safer distance between your hands and the fireworks.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby.
- Light fire work outdoors only.
- Wear protective goggles while lighting fireworks to prevent eye injuries.
- Light only one cracker at a time. Hold lighted sparklers away from the body.
- Flying fireworks—rockets, of thick material instead of loose or flowing garments and always wear footwear to protect your feet.
- Consultant an ophthalmologist immediately in case of eye injuries.
- Never give fireworks to small children.
- Never ignite fireworks while holding them.
- Do not put fireworks in any container to ignite.
- Never mix anything with the contents of fireworks or make fireworks at home.
- Never ignite aerial fireworks where overhead obstruction (trees, wires, etc.) may interfere with trajectory into open air space.
- Never ignite an aerial fire work near an opening to a building.
- Never re-light a firework which has not burnt properly. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Never throw or point fire work sat other people.
- Never carry fire works in your pocket.
- Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.
- Doctors can only try and repair the eye but extensive damage if caused is beyond any doctor’s limit of giving
IN CASE OF AN EYE INJURY
- Don’t press or rub the eye with the palm or hand, lest the injury may get compounded.
- Don’t tie a cloth, across the eye firmly. This can cause undue pressure on the eye. Protect the eye with a cup of a shield.
- In case of a chemical injury, wash the eye well with clean water. It is better to avoid washing eyes in case of mechanical injuries.
- Don’t neglect any eye injury, however trivial it may look. It is always better to rule out vision threatening problems.
- If a particle is large or stuck in the eye, do not attempt to remove it
- Keep eyes closed and go to the eye doctor immediately
- If there is any chemical that has entered the eyes, immediately wash the eyes and eyelids with water for 30 minutes
- Consult an eye doctor immediately eye. Crackers may contain carbon, manganese, sulphur and other chemicals which can also damage the eye.
- Pollution levels rise by missiles, etc.—should always be lighted in open grounds pointing straight up.
- Discard used fireworks in a bucket of water.
- Wear close-fitting clothes vision or preventing blindness in spite of contemporary, high tech and sophisticated instruments and highly skilled doctors.