Burst crackers safely during festival of lights

Dr Srinivasan G Rao

Chennai: Deepavali is often expressed with two most essential features – the diya and fireworks.

Certainly, age is not a factor for bursting of crackers and everyone loves fireworks. If such celebration with crackers are considered as a tradition, then it is essential to take extra care while handling them.

Most fireworks injuries occurring during this season have a direct impact on eyes causing serious injuries. A large number of ocular injuries are reported every year, mainly due to firecrackers.

In fact, the eyes are the second most common affected area after the hands and fingers. Some of the common injuries are caused by sparklers and bombs along with ‘Chakra’ crackers which also cause eye injuries, says Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital regional head, clinical services, Dr Srinivasan G Rao in a press release.

In case of eye injuries, following steps has to be taken

*Do not rub your eyes or scratch your eyes.

*Wash your eyes and face properly.

*In case of any irritation or foreign body in the eye, hold the eyelids open and flush the eyes continuously with water.

* 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.

* If there is any chemical that has entered the eyes, immediately irrigate the eyes and under the eyelids, with water, for 30 minutes. Seek an eye doctor immediately.

When it comes to children

* Not to rub affected eye. This may increase bleeding or worsen the injury.

* Not to rinse out the eyes. This can cause more damage than rubbing.

* Not to apply pressure to the affected eye. Holding or taping a foam cup or the bottom of a juice carton to the eye are just two tips that can be followed.

* Never use OTC medicines including pain relievers.

* Never apply ointment. It makes difficult for a doctor to examine and diagnose.

Be cautious

* Always burst crackers in an open space, wear goggles, wash hands with clean water.

* Children should be supervised while playing with crackers. Never take any injury lightly; visit a doctor and take professional help.

* Keep a bucket of water and sand readily available for accidental fire.

* Store fireworks in a closed box in a safe location, away from the reach of children.

* Keep fireworks away from the face, hair and clothing.

* Do not wear synthetic clothing while bursting crackers.

* Maintain a distance of an arm’s length while lighting firecrackers, and at least five metres while watching.

* Remove your contact lenses before going out to burst fire crackers. Use a spare glass instead, which can protect your eyes in a better way.

* Defuse used fireworks properly by soaking them in a bucket of water before disposal.

* Always wear good slippers which will protect from accidental stamping of burnt crackers.

At your reach

Dr Agarwal’s Eye Hospital has kept emergency services available to the people in case of unfortunate event of eye injury. People can contact 044 4300 8800.

NT Bureau