Doctors issue advisory for a healthier, safer Diwali

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Mohali, Nov 8 (UNI) While celebrating the festival of lights and crackers proper precautions should be taken to ensure healthier and safer Diwali.

Talking about the basic precautions to be taken to avoid getting burn injuries and electrical shocks Dr Vikas Bhutani, Consultant Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mohali advised that the earthen lamps and candles should be placed safely away from any flammable material like wood, cloth or paper and electric wires. Electric lights should never be tied to any metal poles as any leakage of current can energise the pole and give an electric shock to anyone who touches it.

Fire crackers are one of the main causes of mishaps during Diwali and hence Dr Bhutani advises, "When lighting fire crackers, wear close-fitting thick cotton clothes instead of loose fitting synthetic clothing and ensure that you keep a bucket of water nearby while lighting fire crackers. Light crackers only in open spaces, never light any firecrackers in your hand and don't throw fireworks at another person. Maintain a safe distance from the crackers. Never try to re-ignite the fireworks that don't light in the first instance." Talking specially about safeguarding the health of children, Dr Sanjay Bhalerao, Pediatrician, Fortis Hospital said, "Never give fireworks to young children; close adult supervision of all activities is must. Do not allow children to keep fireworks in their pockets. Store the crackers safely away from heat source in a closed metal box." Crackers with high sound levels should be avoided, as a sound level greater than 120db is harmful to the eardrums of the kids, he added.

"Be particularly careful of your eyes," advises Dr Rajan Chugh, Consultant and Eye Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, "A small error of judgment, ignorance or a casual approach can take away the eye-sight, partially or totally.

While bursting crackers, it is advisable to wear large sized clear glasses, to avoid splinter injury to the eyes.

"Don't try home remedies in case of an accident; rush to an eye- surgeon. Eyesight can be lost in minutes and might be saved if prompt treatment is made available. do not splash water if the injury appears too severe inside the eye. However, for eye-lid burn, cool water helps.

Do not drink or eat anything following the injury, especially in case of small children, as they may need general anesthesia for which one has to have an empty stomach, he stated.

Talking about the other harmful effects of crackers, Dr Vinod K Maini, Consultant Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, said, "Fire crackers also enhance noise and air pollution levels. The harmful chemicals emitted through smoke are known to cause and aggravate asthma, allergic rhinitis, bronchitis and other respiratory problems.

Persons at risk of allergies should try to remain indoors during night time." "The blasting sounds emitted by firecrackers could cause permanent or temporary impairment to the eardrums. Infants and senior citizens are more at risk and should use ear buds to avoid health hazards of noise pollution," he said.

UNI

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