Firecracker Safety This New Year
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Firecracker Safety This New Year

Despite the warnings against firecracker use from the Department of Health (DOH), many still insist of doing it. That is why, instead of welcoming each New Year with fun and merrymaking, hundreds, even thousands of people find themselves in hospitals minus fingers or suffering from eye injuries - all because of firecrackers.
  Philippines' firecracker fiesta

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Philippines' New Year - the revelry that goes with it is associated with food, fireworks, and firecrackers; include stray bullets and watusi poisoning.

    firecracker injuries

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Despite the warnings against firecracker use from the Department of Health (DOH), many still insist of doing it. That is why, instead of welcoming each New Year with fun and merrymaking, hundreds, even thousands of people find themselves in hospitals minus fingers or suffering from eye injuries - all because of firecrackers.

The National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDP) made a report of their cumulative surveillance findings regarding firecracker-related injuries (December 21-30, 2010).

"There were 231 cases reported. Ages ranged from 1 to 74 years (median 12). Age-group most affected was the 1-10 year old group 94 (41%) . One hundred and ninety-four (84%) were male. One hundred and forty-six (63%) were active users or directly handled firecrackers. One hundred and seventy-eight (77%) resulted to blast or burns without amputation, eighteen (8%) to blast or burns with amputation and thirty-five (15%) sustained eye injuries. One hundred and seventy-three (75%) of the cases were caused by illegal fireworks of which 117 (51%) were due to piccolo. Twenty-six (11%) of the cases were under the influence of alcohol. One hundred and forty-two (62%) of the injuries occurred in the street. No death was reported."

The top three firecrackers that caused injury included kwitis, piccolo, and fivestar. Amputation caused by piccolo topped the injury list.

 kwitis

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piccolo firecracker

Image Credit - Piccolo firecracker

5 star fivecracker

Image Credit - Five Star

9 cases were reported as stray bullet injury. Ages ranged from 9 to 30 years (median 20). 7 (77%) were male. Most (50%) of the injuries occurred in the street. No death was reported.

In this connection, the NCDP recommends the following safety tips:

  • Get anti-tetanus shots in hospitals when injured.
  • Spray water in areas where firecrackers explode.
  • Children ages 15 and below should not be allowed to use piccolo or any pyrotechnic devices.
  • Do not buy or use watusi.
  • Total ban of all firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices for residential use should be studied.

For a safe New Year welcome, follow these formulas against firecracker use:

  • Don't use firecrackers. Instead, use alternative noise-making instruments such as drums, cooking pots, horns, or tin cans.
  • Never pick up and relight a malfunctioning firecracker.
  • If injured, wash wound with soap and clean water and seek medical attention immediately.
  • Never fire guns.

The DOH's advocacy through the years: welcome the New Year with alternative merry-making activities such as:

  • Limiting the use of fireworks to public displays in designated areas
  • Encouraging the use of safer alternatives such as horns and other noise-makers
  • Holding concerts and competitions

     

Update for our partners and users: For those requesting information, we are in litigation against former employees Mark P. Mazza and Patrick M. Williams, and their company PromoCodeWatch, LLC.
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Comments (4)

useful tips.

Excellent and timely topic, kabayan.

A timely and great article for every new years EVE, thank you and wishing you and your love ones the best and good health for 2011 and plus years.

Firecrackers are legal here in Ontario, -scary really. Peeps in the park launch these and the travel straight up a distance that, if they went sideways, would enter our balcony.

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