A TO Z guide for a safe Diwali

The Supreme Court has recently passed a directive to ban the sale of firecrackers in the National Capital to curb potential rise in pollution and health issues during Diwali. However, other cities and metros will continue to indulge in the festive celebrations with fireworks. Dr Sandeep Gore, Consultant and Head, Department of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, tells you how to handle medical emergencies in a time of distress

fireworks-lighting

“With the festival of light drawing closer, emergency services are gearing up to tackle medical emergencies. Always have a first aid box handy while bursting crackers, this should consists of – Band-Aids, gauze pads, crêpe rolled bandages, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment, alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol, thermometer, sanitizer and distilled water for cleaning wounds. It should also have a note, labelled in bold with emergency numbers for ambulance and hospitals listed on it,” said Dr Sandeep Gore, Consultant and Head, Department of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

Dr Sandeep Gore, Consultant and Head, Department of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mulund
Dr Sandeep Gore, Consultant and Head, Department of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Mulund

Here, Dr Gore gives some useful tips to steps to ensure that health is not compromised during the festivities:

Do’s:

  • For those suffering from respiratory ailments, use a disposable mask while venturing outdoors; air quality is at the lowest during this period
  • Asthmatic patients must carry an inhaler at all times; in case of an attack, sit down and take deep breaths. Remain calm as panicking can worsen respiratory distress
  • Those who are sensitive towards noise, especially the elderly, should wear ear plugs during this period as noise caused by bursting of crackers can be troublesome
  • Ensure the windows, doors, balconies etc. of your home are shut to prevent rockets/firecrackers from entering
  • Elder’s must supervise children at all times while playing with firecrackers
  • Wear fitting cotton clothes to avoid fire from catching on while playing with firecrackers
  • If burn injuries sustained, pour cold water on the affected area until the pain subsides and visit a doctor for further medical treatment
  • Minor burns can be treated with toothpaste which consists of Fluoride and has a cooling effect. Importantly, remove all jewelry and tight clothing from the affected area. Refrain from touching the blisters and keep the area open/ un-bandaged
  • Incase blisters break, apply an antiseptic ointment only if it is a minor one. If major burns are sustained, head to the emergency room immediately
  • In the case of an eye injury, do not rub the eyes as this can aggravate the situation. If there is no visible injury to the eye, splash cold running water, make sure that your hands are washed thoroughly with a disinfectant soap, before you continue to disinfect the eye. In case of a major injury or if a particle has entered the eye, do not try and administer first aid or remove it yourself, rush to the emergency room
  • Always keep handy a bag of sand or a bucket of water, to douse a fire in case of an emergency

Don’t:

  • Build temporary structures that are easily flammable, near residential areas. Open grounds and open places are the preferred option as rockets and chakri’s can misfire
  • throw half-lit or burnt out firecrackers haphazardly in the open, it can hurt someone
  • Reignite malfunctioning firecrackers, this can be hazardous