Diwali – the most cherished and celebrated Hindu festival is round the corner. As we gear up to prepare for pujas, parties and phuljharis, it’s imperative to exercise caution while bursting crackers. In spite of legislations, the number of patients who fall victim to firecracker-related injuries in NCR has been increasing steadily. 80% of victims are women and children and a vast majority of injuries occur due to carelessness or lack of adult supervision.
This Diwali, be fire safe by taking the necessary precautions and responding in an appropriate way immediately so that the biggest festival of the year can be enjoyed in its full spirit. Speaking about serious injuries associated with the festival, Dr. Anup Dhir, Senior Consultant, Cosmetic Surgery, A+ MediArt, said: “Although the depth of burns depends on the degree of heat, skin‘s thickness and the time for which it was exposed to the heat; timely intervention and correct first aid can reduce the severity of a burn appreciably.” He further added, “Most people think they know the list of Diwali Dos and Donts by now and don’t bother consuming a refresher but with a little care and safer methods of handling fire, accidents can be averted.”
To prevent the accidents during Diwali, one should know the safer methods of handling fire. Supervision should be given to children at all times that they should remain alert of their surroundings. One should read and follow the label directions given in the crackers. Anars for example should never be lit while in the hand as they can burst yet a large number of burns at Diwali are associated with them. Never carry fireworks in your pocket as they're explosives and can go off prematurely even if they're not lit.
As 95% of burn injuries are accidental, prevention simply isn’t enough. Your response time can mean a world of difference when an accident occurs and proper first aid can reduce the severity of a burn appreciably. One should remove the child from the heat source and put out any flames if the clothes have caught fire. Prevent further injury to the skin and run cool (not cold) water over the burned area as it eases the pain, removes heat, and lowers the temperature in the injured tissue.
Alternatively hold a clean, cold compress on the burn for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Do not use ice, as it may cause the burn to take longer to heal and don’t apply butter, grease, powder, or any other remedies to the burn, as this increases the risk of infection. If the burned area is small keep the area clean and continue to use cool compresses and a loose dressing over the next 24 hours. For Extensive or Severe burns run under cool water for no longer than 5 minutes, wrap the wound in a clean cloth and without any delay take the patient to the medical care facility for treatment. The face must be left exposed to air.