First-Aid For Fireworks-Related Burns And Injuries
Diwali is the festival of lights but it could also turn dark if you do not take proper care. So, it is always better to take preventive measures and have proper knowledge of first-aid.
By Kavitha Ravi
Ram and Shyam are identical twins. However, Ram is the daring of the two while Shyam is regarded as the timid and docile one. One Diwali, they were bursting crackers. Ram, who considered himself to be the braver one, was bursting crackers without any regard for safety while Shyam was taking his time bursting the bombs.
Unfortunately, Ram's overconfidence led to his undoing. He tried one too many of his tricks. While lighting a bomb, Ram held the bomb in his hands. He thought he would light the bomb and throw it but while lighting it, the bomb burst. Ram's hand got burnt in the process while Shyam escaped unhurt.
A number of injuries are waiting to happen during Diwali. It could range from small burns to eye injuries to even severe burns, which can be life-threatening. Children are at most risk due to their curious nature.
Before you start administering medication and first-aid after an accident, it is better to examine the extent of the injuries first. Some injuries can be treated at home before going to the hospital while others will need immediate attention from medical professionals. However, in both cases, you can administer first-aid if you are able to figure out the extent of the injuries and work accordingly.
Here are some injuries that are common during Diwali and how to take care of them.
A common injury during Diwali is that of the eye. With crackers and rockets being lit, you need to be extra careful. An eye injury occurs when your eyes are continually exposed to bright lights, when a piece of the cracker hits your eye and when smoke from the lit crackers enter your eyes. If such an injury occurs, you should immediately flush your eyes with cool water. Ice cubes should be strictly avoided.
Steps to follow:
- Do not try to aggressively touch or rub the injured eye. This will only further aggravate the situation.
- Try to cover the injured eyes with a clean cloth.
- Once the child is relatively rested, take him to the hospital to get the injury examined.
Minor burns are characterized by are small and red burns with a blister or two forming on them. These burns occur when your hands come into contact with sparklers, flames from lit crackers, matchsticks or even candles.
Steps to follow:
- You need to run cool water for about 5 minutes on the injured part of the body.
- Avoid using ice on the burn.
- Remove any clothing or ornaments which may be on or around the injury.
- Apply a medicated ointment or aloe vera on the injury. Avoid substances from your kitchen such as butter or tomato on the wound.
- Wrap up the injury with cling wrap or an aluminium foil. Go for materials which will not stick to the wound. Avoid cloth based bandages when it comes to protecting the wound.
- Take the injured child to the hospital once you have administered first-aid. A doctor needs to inspect the wound although you have cleaned and covered up the injury.
Diwali is a time to have fun and burst crackers. Learn how to have a safe Diwali by going through the below video that teaches ways to burn different crackers.
Major burns occur when the flames from crackers or lit sparklers cause extensive damage to the exposed part of the skin. In most cases, it causes severe pain, swelling and irritation. Immediate first aid needs to be administered after which, you should take the victim to the hospital immediately.
Steps to follow:
- The amount of water you use should be equivalent to the size of the wound.
- For bigger burns which are characterized with numerous blisters and skin damage, use as many buckets of water required to tame the angry injury.
- You can also use an alkaline soap to wash the wound.
- Remove any ornaments or clothing from the injured area. Do this only if these materials have not melted into the skin.
- Wrap up the injured area with clean plastic wrap.
- Rush the child to the hospital. If the injury is very severe, call for an ambulance.
Teaching children the basics of first-aid can go a long way in helping them care for themselves and others in case of an emergency. Go through this article that provides tips and tricks to teach children first-aid.
Diwali is a great festival to celebrate. Even as the courts have banned the use of crackers in many places across the country, we continue to enjoy Diwali. However, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some important do's and don'ts that you should always follow.
Do's and Don'ts:
- Burns are tricky and difficult things to deal with. So, it’s in your best interest to not have to deal with them in the first place. So here are some precautions you can take to ensure that your child has a safe festive season.
- Buy good quality fireworks from reputed companies. Imitations are unstable and hence are dangerous.
- Teach your child
- Read and explain all the safety instructions on the packaging of the crackers loudly and clearly to your child before opening it.
- Your child should not be left unattended with the fireworks under any circumstances. Adult supervision is a must.
- Always keep a bucket of water, a hose connected to water supply or a fire extinguisher handy.
- Set off one firework at a time.
- Ensure that your child is not lurking anywhere near you or the fireworks when you are lighting them. He should be kept at a safe distance and this depends on the type of cracker you are working with. The rule of thumb is that the more explosive the firework, the more distance between your child and the firework.
- If the firework does not go off as intended, do not try to go near it and reignite it. Chances are it might blow up unexpectedly. You can pour some water it to ensure that it does not go off.
- Ensure that while you are lighting one type of cracker, the others you want to light up are stored away from the site where you are setting off the fireworks. The smallest of sparks is enough to set off your stock of fireworks.
- Never try to experiment with fireworks. Do not hold one in your hand when its lit. Don’t aim it at someone either. You are setting a bad example for your child if you pull such stunts.
- After you are done with the fireworks, ensure that you cool down the remaining embers by pouring water or sand on them.
While we take immense care when it comes to gifts and the other trappings of festivity, we must show the same amount of care when it comes to safety. It is better to be safe than sorry. One way to do this is to wear protective clothing.
What to wear:
It is advisable to wear light long-sleeved cotton clothes and closed footwear. Loose garments is a strict no-no as they can easily catch fire. Along with these, long hair should be tied up and protective glasses can be worn.
Fireworks are dangerous, it is a known fact. Let them add to the celebrations and not become the cause of a disaster. That said, have a safe and prosperous holiday season!
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