Diwali is a festival that has an amazing quality of not just brightening our lives but make it more interesting with the festivities associated with it. However, a little precaution could add more sparkle to Diwali, and even a bit of callousness could lead to fatal consequences. Every year, the festival sees a considerable number of burn emergency, trauma and respiratory emergencies. Thanks to our carelessness, we end up spoiling the festive spirit hurting ourselves in various ways.
Experts say that emergencies are uncertain and can happen to anyone and any point of time hence it is also equally important that while enjoying the festival proper care is taken. Emergencies during Diwali occur mainly because of unsafe bursting of crackers and not taking proper precaution while lightening lamps. While, excessive eating of sweets and unhygienic foods leads to acute abdomen or food poisoning. Also too much of dust and smoke of crackers leads to respiratory problem, so precautions should be in order.
What you should be doing
- Before bursting fire crackers look for an open space and ensure there are no combustible and inflammatory things around. If so remove them at once.
- Always buy fireworks from licensed and reliable sellers.
- Keep small children away from the bursting area.
- Use a sparkler, agarbatti (incense stick) or a long firewood to light a cracker as they keep you at a safe distance and do not possess a naked flame.
- Read the label on the crackers and follow the instructions carefully.
- While igniting aerial fireworks like rockets ensure that they are not facing any opening like an open window, door or an open building which may cause fire accidents.
- Keep fireworks stock away while lighting a particular firework.
- Wear footwear while lighting fireworks.
- Keep a bucket full of water handy.
- Be prepared for emergency.
- Organize a community display of fireworks rather than individuals handling crackers.
- Keep first aid and buckets of water handy. In the event of fire, extinguish flame by pouring water from the buckets. Every major fire is small when it starts.
- Light only one firework at a time, by one person. Others should watch from a safe distance.
- In case of burns, pour large quantity of water on the affected area.
- In case of major burns, after extinguishing the fire, remove all smouldering clothes. Wrap the victim in a clean bed sheet.
- The patient should be taken to a burns specialist or a major hospital. Don't panic.
- In case of eye burns, wash the eye with tap water for 10 minutes and take the victim to a hospital.
What you shouldn’t be doing
- Do not wear nylon clothes. Prefer cottons while bursting crackers.
- Strictly avoid using matches and lighters for bursting crackers as they have open flames that can be dangerous.
- Never ignite aerial fireworks (like rockets) if there is any overhead obstruction present like trees and wires.
- Never ever leave a lit match, agarbatti (incense stick) or sparkler near unused crackers.
- Never experiment with crackers or make your own fireworks.
- Avoid bursting fireworks on roads.
- Never ever light a cracker in your hand. See to it that you put it down and ignite it.
- Don't keep your face close to the cracker while trying to light it.
- Do not throw fireworks at people.
- Never give any firework item to small children.
- Never try to burst crackers indoors or from inside a vehicle.
- Do not have fireworks in your pocket while igniting another.
- Do not tend to burst crackers when someone else is trying to ignite one.
- When crackers take time or do not ignite immediately, do not indulge in trying to burst them. Rush to a safe place immediately. Throw some water to diffuse them.
- Never try to light used fireworks.
- Do not ignite fireworks in any container.
- Do not approach immediately the misfired fireworks.
- Do not tamper with misfired fireworks.
- Do not wear loose, hanging clothes. Secure all clothes properly.
- Do not apply any cream or ointment or oil on burnt are.
Some tips to keep eyes safe during Diwali celebrations
As beautiful as it looks, fireworks account for thousands of emergency room visits each year during the festival. The majority of injuries that impact eye health occur in bystanders. In fact the eyes are the second-most common affected area after the hands and fingers. As expected, the leading cause of injuries on Diwali is the lack of appropriate safety measures while lighting fireworks.
Due to serious issues like eye health and safety risks involved, medical experts
strongly discourage firework play of any kind. A safer alternative is watching authorised laser and firework displays operated by licensed professionals. But if you still want to use fireworks as part of your celebrations, please ensure you take the following safety precautions at all times:
- Store fireworks in a closed box in a safe location, away from the reach of children
- Avoid sparklers that reach temperatures as high as 1000°C - high enough to melt gold and cause serious injury
- Keep fireworks away from the face, hair and clothing
- Maintain a distance of an arm’s length while lighting firecrackers, and at least five metres while watching
- Defuse used fireworks properly by soaking them in a bucket of water before disposal
In case of an accident, contact emergency medical services immediately. Do not rub, rinse or apply ointment to the eye. It may make the injury worse or difficult to examine.
By taking these simple precautions for good eye health
, you will be able to enjoy fireworks on Diwali without worrying about the safety of your loved ones. Happy celebrations!