Enjoying a safe Diwali

Diwali is a festival of lights that all Indians look forward to. Although Diwali brings light into our lives, the lighting of fire crackers could pose a few health hazards and lead to mishaps. Children seem to be particularly vulnerable during Diwali since they are the ones who are most enthusiastic about lighting fire crackers. However, even adults could do with some caution and care.

Tips on choosing safe fireworks:

It is extremely important to know the difference between a legal consumer firework and a dangerous explosive device. They can cause serious injury or even death. Stay away from anything that is not clearly labelled with the name of the item, the manufacturer's name and instructions for proper use.

Some of the precautionary measures to avoid mishaps during Diwali:

  • Fireworks are not toys. They burn at approximately the same temperature as a household match and can cause burns, injuries and ignite clothing if used improperly.
  • Never give fireworks to young children. Close, adult supervision of all fireworks activities is mandatory. Even sparklers can be unsafe if used improperly.
  • Select and use only legal devices. Stay away from illegal explosives. Illegal explosive devices continue to cause serious injuries.
  • Homemade fireworks are deadly. Never attempt to make your own devices and do not purchase or use any kits that are advertised for making fireworks. Mixing and loading chemical powders is very dangerous and can kill or seriously injure you. Leave the making of fireworks to the experts.
When lighting fire crackers:
  • Light crackers in open spaces only.
  • Use cotton and/or khadi clothing while lighting fire crackers. Wear close-fitting clothes of thick material instead of loose or flowing garments.
  • Do not light any fire crackers in your own hand.
  • Do not light crackers in closed tins or empty pipes.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the fire crackers. Avoid bending over them.
  • Try lighting noiseless crackers if you can. They are just as enjoyable and a delight to the eyes.
  • In case you suffer burns, hold the part affected under cold running water and take the patient to the hospital immediately.
  • Make sure you keep a tub of water handy while lighting fire crackers.
  • Flying fireworks - rockets, missiles, etc. should always be lighted in open grounds pointing straight up.
  • Buy fireworks that are legally manufactured, and follow the caution or warning label in the carton indicating the method of firing, and precautions to be taken.
  • Beware, fire crackers could cause you grievous injury.
Fire crackers could be a causative factor leading to numerous health hazards. Besides, they enhance noise and air pollution levels. The harmful chemicals emitted through smoke are known to cause asthma, allergic rhinitis, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. Moreover, the noise and dazzling light could cause optical as well as ENT - related problems. The blasting sounds caused by fire crackers which send the decibel levels soaring instantaneously could cause permanent or temporary impairment to the ear drums. All this is known to affect children, pregnant women, asthmatics and senior citizens much more than the rest of the population.

What are the problems that arise due to the noise generated during Diwali? There are two types of problems induced by noise. First, is sudden exposure to loud noise, and the second is a continuous exposure to it like in the case of industrial workers. This could result in temporary deafness which is reversible. However, if the damage to ear tissue or perforation of the ear drums occurs then it could be cured only if the damage caused is not extensive. But, if the damage is severe then relative deafness could result that might well be of a permanent nature.

Which age group is the most affected? An infant below one year of age is most vulnerable as the structures of the ear are very delicate. Besides, senior citizens are also quite vulnerable as the degenerative process brought on by ageing has already set in. Moreover, people with a heart condition, hypertension or hypotension and asthma could be faced with problems that could manifest as fatigue, headaches, irritability etc.

How safe is your child this Diwali?
  • Keep a watch when children are playing with fireworks. Ensure that they have fun the right and safe way. Adult supervision is a must.
  • Do not allow children to keep fireworks in their pockets. Store them away from fire or any other heat source or light fireworks inside the house. Store them safely: in a closed metal box, somewhere cool and dry, out of reach of children.
  • Children should hold lighted sparklers away from their body.
  • Ensure that your children does not engage in dangerous pranks such as throwing lighted crackers or sparklers at others, or try to make fireworks themselves.
  • As far as possible avoid buying bombs for younger children. Sparklers, fountains and floor-circles are more attractive and do less damage.
Diwali is a family festival and can be enjoyed by everyone. This is when families, relatives, friends and neighbours come together to celebrate. Just make sure, the Festival of Lights does not bring about darkness in your lives. We at Doctorndtv.com wishes you and your family a happy and safe Diwali.