This holiday season, the Department of Health (DOH) renews its call for a firecracker free celebration to welcome the New Year.
The use of fireworks and firecrackers causes respiratory problems, runs the risk of losing limbs or eyesight and may even cause death. However, as some people still opt to use them during New Year celebrations, here are some reminders:
- Fireworks / firecrackers are dangerous and children should not be allowed to play with them.
- Keep a safe distance from people using them.
- Do not pick-up failed fireworks / firecrackers as they can still explode.
- Do light fireworks / firecrackers outdoors as they are potential fire hazards.
- When lighting fireworks like a fountain, do not bend directly over the pyrotechnic devices.
- Do not throw firecrackers at passing people or vehicles.
First-aid care in case of injury
- For minor burns caused by firecrackers, let cool water run over the affected area. Do not apply ointments or creams as these may hold in heat and cause further damage.
- Wrap the wounds using clean cloth and bring the victim to the hospital immediately.
- Do NOT apply toothpaste to the wound or burn.
- If a body part like a finger or hand is directly hit by an exploding firecracker, cover the affected part with a clean cloth, try to stop bleeding by putting pressure on it, and immediately bring the patient to the Emergency Room.
- If the eyes injured, do not wash them out. Instead, have the victim close their eyes with a cloth to prevent further scratching of the corneas.
- If the victim swallowed a firecracker or its elements, have them drink raw egg whites. DOH recommends eight to twelve egg whites for an adult and six to twelve for a child. Bring the patient to the nearest hospital or Poison Control Center.
Note: Please be reminded that medical availments related to firecracker injuries are not eligible to coverage under the Insular Health Care Agreement.