The Department of Health (DOH) today strongly advised parents and caregivers not to allow children to use firecrackers during the holiday season, especially in welcoming the New Year.
Statistics revealed that children age six to ten years old are most affected by firecracker-related injuries, and majority (67%) of injuries happened between December 31 and January 1. The DOH surveillance report showed that out of 997 injuries due to fireworks, 25 percent or 250 cases were children less than ten years old. One reported death due to fireworks was a 12-year old male, who sustained severe head injury caused by mixed firecracker powder.
“Every year, despite advertisements and campaigns intended to protect children from fireworks injuries, the profile of cases remain the same,” acting health secretary Janette Loreto-Garin commented.
In a statement released on Sunday, December 21, DOH appealed to parents and caregivers of children to “exercise extreme vigilance and caution.” Adults who see children playing with firecrackers should seize the firecrackers, stow them someplace no longer accessible to children, repeatedly discourage children from buying firecrackers, and educate children on consequences of firecracker injuries.
The last surveillance report showed that the usual body parts injured were hands (55%), eyes (15%), legs (11%), heads (9%), and forearms/arms (8%). Amputation was necessary to 25 cases of blast wounds.
“Imagine the rest of a child’s life without hands, arms, legs, or injured body parts after losing them to fireworks…” the DOH statement asked parents, “Not only is self-esteem drastically diminished, productivity at school… will also be greatly affected.”
The statement concluded: “The fun from lighting up firecrackers is as fleeting as the sparks of the firecrackers. Serious injuries and amputation caused by firecracker explosions have life-changing consequences. Exploding or lighting up firecrackers is an extreme gamble on one’s future.” And acting secretary Garin emphasized to the public “Mahalaga ang buhay, iwasan ang paputok.”
Source : DOH