Diwali, the beautiful festival of lights will be celebrated in a few days. However, the incidence of firecracker #eyeinjuries is alarmingly high during Diwali. Let’s discuss how you can avoid these injuries and what to as as #firstaid.
How alarming is the occurrence of eye injuries during Diwali?
Diwali is the time of the year where the number of eye injuries drastically rises.
Every year hundreds of people go blind because of negligence and lack of awareness of the severity of firecracker injuries during Diwali.
AIIMS published a study, where the number of patients with eye injuries after Diwali were constantly rising.
What are the factors leading to eye injury?
Most of the victims of firecrackers related burns and injuries are children less than 15 years of age.
Indiscriminate and unsafe use of fireworks and lack of adult supervision often leads to serious injuries leading to blindness among children.
Which are the most dangerous fireworks?
According to a tertiary center study, the most common cause of ocular injuries are
- Bombs (37%)
- Sparklers (19%)
- Bottle rockets (12%)
- Flowerpot (12%)
- Homemade and miscellaneous (20%)
Bottle rockets and bombs are responsible for the most serious ocular injuries observed in the patients.
What can you do to avoid eye injury during Diwali?
Let’s follow a few steps to ensure that we enjoy a happy and safe Diwali.
1. Limit Firecrackers use
Not only are firecrackers dangerous, but they also cause a lot of air pollution. Why would you want to breathe into such toxic air? Diwali is a festival of lights, not of firecrackers.
Therefore, limit the amount of firecrackers you burn. I am not saying you need to stop lighting firecrackers completely, but try to use firecrackers to the minimum.
2. Protect your eyes
Wear protective glasses while igniting firecrackers. Some people might say it is unnecessary and that you are being over cautious. Ignore them. Vision is precious and you can’t risk it for a moment’s thrill.
Trust me, I’ve seen patients who have gone blind due to firecrackers, and they wish they had been more careful, but for them it is too late. But not for you.
3. Never leave children unsupervised
Most importantly, never let your child ignite fire crackers unsupervised. Most victims of eye injuries are children, and no child should go through so much pain. It is the responsibility of us adults to protect our children.
4. Do not try stunts with firecrackers
People often light firecrackers while holding them in their hands. Please don’t do that. It is not a sign of bravery. You are risking something very precious, that most people regret only later.
Remember, eyes are very delicate organs, and most eye injuries never heal completely. There will always be partial or total blindness if your eyes get injured.
Risk to your other eye!
Be warned that if you get a severe injury on even only one eye, there is a risk of losing vision in your other eye too due to a condition known as “Sympathetic Ophthalmia.”
A little mishap could cause complete blindness in both eyes, so be very careful.
What to do if someone gets injured due to a firecracker?
If someone does get injured accidently, you must rush them to a hospital immediately. DO NOT try to treat firecracker eye injuries at home.
“Never bandage an injured eye!”
“Never touch an injured eye with dirty hands or cloth as it might lead to serious infections.”
“Never try to wash an injured eye.”
On the way to the hospital, you can protect the injured eye by avoiding pressure on it. Cover the injured eye with a protective “eye shield” which maybe available in some medical stories. If an eye shell is not available, protective glasses or sunglasses may be used.
Here is what an eye shield looks like.
It is made up of hard plastic that rests on the bones of the forehead and cheek and protects the eye without putting any pressure on the eye.
“Time is of the essence! More the delay in seeking treatment, the higher the possibility of loss of vision.”
Once the patient reaches the hospital, a team of medical professionals will treat the injuries and try to salvage as much vision as possible.
But it is always best to avoid injury in the first place. Take due precautions, and be cautious.
You can read about First Aid in Eye Emergencies in my other blog.
I hope this blog will be helpful in preventing eye injuries this Diwali.
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I wish you all a happy and safe Diwali!
I’ll see you soon in my next blog, till then, stay healthy and take good care of your eyes!