Deepavali hazards

It was the time of the festivities. And 15-year-old Dan (name changed) was gathering up the gun powder left over from a cracker bursting site.

Published: 04th November 2021 07:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th November 2021 07:05 AM   |  A+A-

A firecracker shop in Thiruvananthapuram | B P Deepu

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It was the time of the festivities. And 15-year-old Dan (name changed) was gathering up the gun powder left over from a cracker bursting site. He lit it up. His hands suffered multiple burns. He lost his eyes and became completely blind.

Deepavali is here. And while celebrating with crackers, people also need to be careful about the dangers of playing with them irresponsibly. An oft-neglected part is the post-Deepavali cracker injuries and burns, doctors say. Whilst cracker injuries are on the higher side during Christmas and Vishu, Deepavali is also a tenuous time. According to doctors, every trauma centre gets at least four to five cases of cracker injuries during this time. 

Most of the injuries are blast wounds, which can be avoided by being responsible and cautious, says Jimmy Mathew, clinical professor, plastic and reconstructive surgery at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi. “People aren’t aware of the dangers of being irresponsible around crackers. The damage the 15-year-old boy suffered is for a lifetime,” he says. 

The major regions where injuries happen are the hands, face and leg, says the doctor. And when badly injured after a blast injury, no amount of surgery can help regain the total functionality of the limb, he adds. 

One cracker is enough to cause irreparable damage. The affected are those belonging to the age group of five and 30 years, he says. “One could lose hands and there have been many such cases. Kids should be kept under strict supervision when using the crackers. It is not just big crackers that can cause trouble, the anar is equally dangerous,” he says. 

The doctor warns against going to check up on the crackers if they do not burst after lighting. If they do not burst immediately, there are chances of them bursting at a later time. No adventures, he says. 
“Pour water on every cracker that has burst and even on those that haven’t. And good distance should be maintained,” he adds. 

  What not to do

Hold cracker in hand and lighting it and throwing it

Check up on crackers that failed to light up

Going to cracker bursting site to gather the gun powder 

Apply toothpaste, honey, sand on burn areas

  What to do

Supervise kids when they use crackers

Maintain a safe distance while bursting crackers

Crackers should be burst in open areas

A bucket of water should be kept in handy

Pour water on every cracker that has burst and even on those that haven’t 

In case of a burn injury, place the area under running water for 10 minutes, and then seek medical help
If it is a blast injury that isn’t very serious, wash the area, cover the wound with a clean cloth and seek medical help 

In cases of bleeding, clean the area and place a good amount of cloth, cover the wound and seek medical help

Always go to a medical centre where there is a hand surgeon, plastic surgeon and a facility for microsurgery



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