Published On: Tue, Nov 6th, 2018

Narayana Nethralaya educates school children on fireworks safety measures

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To cater to eye injuries across 24 hours during Deepavali

People all over the country are gearing up for Deepavali, the festival of lights and Joy. Deepavali has often turned tragic for many people because of crackers misfiring or due to its skewed function.

 

“Every Deepavali we witness people coming to our hospitals for treatment of injuries caused by  crackers. Majority of the cases are minor injuries and they are mostly children. However we do receive 4 or 5 severe injury cases every year, some amounting to even a total vision loss. Unfortunately in many of these severe injuries victims are either  an innocent passerby or children watching the crackers burst”, said Dr. K. Bhujang Shetty, Chairman and Managing Director, Narayana Nethralaya.

 

As a part of our CSR initiative, for the last 10 years we have been organizing awareness camps in schools to sensitize children against the potential hazards of using crackers.This year we have been able to educate children in over 100 schools in Bangalore. We want to ensure people do not have to search around for a hospital in emergency. They can walk in any time to our hospitals which will remain open 24 hours on 6th, 7th and 8th of November. Like every year we will be  providing free consultations and primary treatment for eye injuries caused by crackers. ”  revealed Dr. Bhujang Shetty.

 

“Eye injuries can range from mild burns in the skin, eyelashes, to more serious ones like damage to the cornea (front portion of our eye), bleeding inside the eye, tear & detachment of the retina, injury to the optic nerve, etc. which can lead to permanent loss of vision” says Dr. Bhujang Shetty highlighting the degree of damage possible.

Explaining the need for immediate medical attention in case of injuries, Dr. Bhujang Shetty said, “It is best to avoid crackers and enjoy the festival with Lights, rangoli, and sweets. However if you get injured and even if the injury is minor, wash your eyes sufficiently in clean water and rush to the hospital on priority, because it needs medical attention and clinical treatment to ensure chemicals that have entered the eye do not corrode into various eye layers, worsening the condition. In case of a severe injury, pad and rush to the hospital immediately.  If brought to hospital on time chances of preventing further damage and vision loss will be better”

 

Firecrackers are made of toxic heavy metals like cadmium and lead, in addition to copper, manganese, zinc, sodium, magnesium and potassium.  The oxides of sulphur, phosphorus and nitrogen are very corrosive and highly acidic. Hence bursting crackers can lead to the release of poisonous gases inflicting several health conditions and aggravating allergies and asthma in people who suffer from it.  Suspended particulate matter can cause eye and nose irritations, can result in headaches, and can severely restrict the breathing process.

 

“The sound pollution caused is equally harmful. Human beings can tolerate up to 60 decibels (dB) of noise. Anything beyond this can cause temporary hearing loss. Burns, especially to the hand and face are extremely common, leading to serious disabilities. I urge people to stay away from Fireworks, let us make this Deepavali a noiseless and painless festival” added Dr. Bhujang Shetty.

Any cracker Injuries, please contact immediately on the below available helpline numbers: 9902546046 and 9902821128

Or rush to any of the below mentioned  Narayana Nethralaya Eye Hospitals:

Narayana Nethralaya-1 at Rajajinagar (Next to ISKCON) – 24hrs.

Narayana Nethralaya-2 at Narayana Health City (Electronic City) – 24hrs.

Narayana Nethralaya-3 at Castle Street (Opp to Sacred Heart Church) 9am-6pm

Narayana Nethralaya-4 at Bannerghatta Road (Next to Meenakshi Mall) 9am-6pm

Precautions, DOs and DONOTs:

In all certainty it is ideal to avoid crackers totally. However if that is unavoidable, following  are certain precautions that you must follow:

  • Selection: Do not buy unbranded crackers and avoid unpredictable fireworks like Rockets
  • Supervision: Children should only be permitted to use fireworks under close adult supervision. Lack of parental supervision, bursting crackers in areas that are more enclosed and lack of an active vigilance while igniting crackers on roads contribute to higher rate of injuries. The quality of the crackers sold at huge discount rates is also an important contributing factor.
  • Storage: Keep the crackers out of reach of children and do not store them in pooja room or kitchen.
  • Place: Light fireworks outdoors in an open area away from houses, dry leaves, grass, vehicles and other flammable materials.
  • Clothing: Wear simple cotton clothes. Avoid wearing silk, synthetic  or loose garments. Before lighting, be sure all the people are out of range of fireworks as, in many cases, onlookers & passers by are injured.
  • While Burning:

○      Do not bend over to light – Keep crackers at a higher level.

○      Do not play pranks like throwing lit crackers at each other.

○      Do not ignite crackers in the hands and throw them, as it is a risk not only for oneself but also to people around

○      Do not make a pile of cracker and burn them.

○      Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas

○      Keep a bucket of water and sand nearby for emergencies

○      Wear protective eye gears while bursting crackers

  • Be careful while watching fireworks or moving around on the roads as an onlooker or a passer by.
  • Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal one.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Douse them with water and throw them away.
  • Don’t experiment with cheap quality or ‘self –made’ fireworks.
  • Rockets & flower pots are the most common injury-causing crackers. Avoid rockets. If they have to be used, launch them from a rocket launcher and not from a bottle.
  • Sparklers need to be handled carefully too: they burn at more than 1000 degrees F. Preferably, light them one at a time at arm’s length., wear gloves while holding a sparkler, and never give one to a child under 5 years of age.
  • PREVENTION is better than cure. However in case of a fire accident, pour cold water over the burnt area. Consult the nearest doctor immediately.

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