This Diwali, as you prepare to light up your pile of firecrackers, spare a thought for the health risks they could pose.
While firecrackers remain an integral part of Diwali celebrations, city doctors exhort people to handle them with caution. Apart from causing air and noise pollution, firecrackers are known to pose serious health threats, if not handled carefully.
“The whole of last week, we were getting two-three burn cases daily, mainly due to fireworks. On Diwali, the number goes up by several times, and injury cases keep coming in, even a week after the festival,” said a doctor in the casualty ward of Safdarjung Hospital, requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media. Ill-effects of crackers
While the Safdarjung Hospital's burns and plastic surgery department has its hands full throughout the year, it gets busier during the festive season.
While handling firecrackers, eyes are most prone to injury, as people forget to wear eyeglasses for protection.
“In spite of advising precaution, we are getting a lot of eye injury patients. After an eye injury, one may have
complaints like diminishing vision, redness, watering and inability to open the eye,” said Dr Mahipal Sachdev, director, Centre for Sight.
“People should abstain from self-medication and visit an eye specialist immediately,” Sachdev added.
“High-risk patients, like those suffering from asthma, elderly people with heart problems and children should avoid exposure to air and noise pollution during Diwali,” said Dr Sandeep Budhiraja, director, institute of internal medicine, Max Hospital.
“They should also keep emergency medicines handy,” Budhiraja added.