LET US CELEBRATE A SAFE DEEPAVALI
Come Deepavali and it is a time for fun and rejoicing, for the young and the old. It is a time to buy new clothes, paint and decorate houses, eat sweets and meet and greet friends. The highlight of the celebrations is of course the pyrogenic show, for one and all. While the fireworks are a treat to the eyes and are a source of enjoyment, they can also be the cause of minor or major mishaps. Almost always it is carelessness on our part that result is such accidents.
Let us therefore see what could be done to make this Deepavali a safe and memorable one.
- Never allow children to burst fireworks alone. It should always be under parental guidance.
- Always ensure that you have a bucket of water and a bucket of sand ready at the place where you are bursting the crackers.
- Put the burnt sparklers etc in the sand bucket and not on the ground as it may burn your feet.
- Avoid wearing loose flowing synthetic garments such as dhoties, sarees and long skirts. Wear tight fitting cotton clothes like pants, churidars, leggings etc. If you are using a dupatta tie it around your waist so that it is not hanging loosely.
- Always wear chappals or shoes so that your feet are protected
- Try and burst crackers in an open area rather than in a narrow closed area. Community celebrations in a large open ground is most desirable
- Never burst a cracker holding it in the hand or by using a short agarbathi. Always use a long burning stick to ignite the crackers or bombs.
- Do not cover a bomb with a tin or coconut shell when lighting it.
- Never handle or try to re-ignite a cracker that has failed to burst. Discard them. Avoid lighting a bonfire at the end with all the unused/discarded crackers.
- Never store your crackers near the source of fire such as a candle or lamp. Do not keep crackers in your pockets
- Avoid firing rockets from ground level or near slum areas. Always light rockets making them stand upright.
- Have concern for the old and the sick- do not burst loud crackers near hospitals and old age homes. Similarly have concern for your pets such as dogs as they cannot tolerate very loud noises. Follow the timings for bursting crackers as prescribed by your local law enforcing agency.
Inspite of taking all precautions you may have a situation where a burn accident has occurred – What should the do’s and dont’s be
- Immediately apply cool water on the burnt area. Pouring water does not cause infection as is the common myth; it infact helps reduce the depth and severity of burn injury.
- Roll on the ground, pour water or use a blanket/ bed sheet to put out the fire
- If the eyes are injured, rinse the eye with plenty of clean water and rush to an eye hospital. Do not rub your eyes
- Cover the burnt area with a clean cloth.
- Seek medical help at the earliest.
- Do not run if the clothes have caught fire as this increases the flames.
- Do not cover a burnt person with a blanket/bedsheet as this may increase the depth of injury by retaining the heat within it- use it only to put out the fire
- Do not apply ink/coffee powder/turmeric/toothpaste/ rice batter or any other coloured liquid on the burn wound and this may cause infection and prevent the doctor in assessing the wound accurately.
Dr. S Ganapathy Krishnan
Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon