Happy and Safe Diwali: Public Awareness to Minimize Fire Cracker Related Injuries
Diwali, a festival of light often turn in to darkness due to fire-cracker related ocular injuries. A large number of ocular injuries are reported every year that are caused due to fire crackers turning the festival of light to darkness. Many reports have indicated that debris flying in the air due to fireworks and fire crackers play an even major role in these eye injuries than the actual blasts’ force.
According to published report, 20% of eye trauma is caused by injuries sustained due to fireworks and fire crackers in the developing countries, making it one of the major reasons of increasing visual disability. The most vulnerable are the children who can lose their vision because of these injuries. It is crucial that doctors/ophthalmologists play their part in spreading awareness among their patients and educate them about the importance of safety precautions.
As Vision 2020 gives high priority to avoidable blindness, every effort should be made to prevent fire cracker related eye injury.
These injuries can be tackled efficiently by first thoroughly cleaning it and then utilizing the appropriate technique depending on the type of injury. For superficial injuries with intact globe, copious irrigation must be given to ensure foreign particles are removed. It is important to look for any foreign bodies and clean the area vigorously.
In case of penetrating eye injury involving cornea, urgent surgical intervention is required, as well as suitable antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent postoperative endophthalmitis, post-operative steroids. Moreover, it is important to teach the patients about the risk of sympathetic ophthalmia and must be encouraged to immediately report back to the doctor if they experience any symptoms in the other eye.
Aside from taking precautions during surgery, it is important to be aware of the medico-legal implications and the physicians must take a detailed and informed consent from the patients before you begin the surgery. It is essential that you explain in detail all the benefits, complications and other essential factors associated with the surgery.
Furthermore, all of the cases should have careful ocular and retinal evaluation before starting the surgery. In case, the retina isn’t visible, it is important to take an ultrasound examination. Other than that a postoperative follow-up is also crucial to be explained to the patient.
In case there are other types of injuries on the body, the right specialist must be referred to immediately in order to provide the right treatment to the patient. Lastly, relevant authorities must be informed if required so that better precautions and guidelines can be taken.
There is no doubt about the fact that fire crackers are used extensively in India during social events, ceremonies and festivals. This is especially true during Diwali, which is one of the most celebrated Hindu mythological events. The usage of firecrackers also results in burns and injuries. As a result, the eye injuries caused by fire crackers during festivities is still one of the major causes of blindness in India. There are numerous ocular cases that occur especially during festive seasons.
There is a strong need to spread public awareness by explaining the causes and prevention of these injuries to reduce these accidents. The public must be encouraged to wear protective eye gear and take other necessary precautions to prevent suffering from ocular trauma, as well as its consequences of blindness and/or visual impairment. Several authors rightfully highlights the importance of spreading awareness and taking safety measures during these festivals. Moreover, there is a dire need for a restrictive legislation on fireworks and crackers in order to decrease the increasingly high rate of ocular injuries in India.
The Honourable Supreme Court of India has taken an active role in the matter of firecrackers during Diwali. The Supreme Court has now passed a verdict that online sale of crackers has been banned while green crackers causing low pollution and producing low-decibel sound will only be allowed. The court has also given a time restriction – people are allowed to burst crackers only between 8 pm and 10 pm.
There is a strong need to spread public awareness by explaining the causes and prevention of these injuries to reduce these accidents as well as save our environment. The public must be encouraged to wear protective eye gear and take other necessary precautions to prevent suffering from ocular trauma, as well as its consequences of blindness and/or visual impairment. Moreover, there is a dire need for public awareness campaign on fireworks and crackers in order to decrease the increasingly high rate of fire cracker related injuries in India.