This year, as in years past, there will be a lot of fanfare and celebration surrounding the festival of lights. While the Diwali festival definitely merits a big celebration, it’s equally crucial to do it with the utmost safety. The number of eye damage cases that occur during the Diwali celebration is significantly higher than average due to the use of firecrackers. Elder family members should therefore keep an eye on the kids while they participate in the Diwali festivities.
A majority of firework-related eye injuries can leave a person permanently blind because of persistent visual loss. Continuous smoke from cracker explosions might irritate the eyes or make them water. Avoid bottle rockets, which are regarded as the riskiest cracker variety, keep a safe distance from burning crackers, wear safety goggles, and refrain from wearing contact lenses while breaking crackers. When an eye injury occurs, do not touch it; if a piece of debris is lodged in the eye, do not remove it; instead, keep your eyes closed and visit an eye doctor; if a chemical enters the eyes, immediately irrigate them for 30 minutes, and then seek immediate medical attention.
Do’s & Don’ts while bursting crackers
Ensure to buy Fireworks from a licensed dealer
Keep a bucket of sand or fire extinguisher handy.
Ensure there are no inflammable and combustible materials around fire cracking area.
Follow all safety precautions issued with the fireworks.
Discard used fireworks in a bucket of water
Ensure to burst crackers in safe areas that is not crowded
Don’t let children play alone with fire crackers
Don’t wear synthetic clothes or loose garments; thick cotton clothes are ideal
Don’t apply cream or oil in the affected area, in case of an eye injury, consult an ophthalmologist immediately
Don’t light crackers while holding them in your hand; it should always be lighted in open grounds pointing straight up.
Don’t keep the fire crackers near burning diyas or agarbhattis
Each person must take care and caution when celebrating the holiday because injuries from fireworks can also happen to innocent onlookers. Let’s promote happiness and joy this Diwali while putting the safety of your loved ones first.
(Dr. Pallavi Joshi, Consultant-Cornea, Ocular Surface and Refractive Surgery)