Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Have a Safe & Happy Diwali

have_safe_diwali_01Diwali is just a few days away now and you all are in a festive mood to celebrate the occasion. Since children get carried away with crackers, as a parent you need to be on the guard. After all, firecrackers are responsible in a big way for polluting the environment and contribute to noise pollution. Sujaya Guha writes on ways to celebrate a happy and safe Diwali. Keep reading to know the safety tips as well as the first aid concerns in case you meet a tragedy.

Safety measures

  • Avoid bomb, as they are a menace. Sparklers, fountains and floor-circles are more attractive and do less damage. Buy legally manufactured fireworks.
    “The kids who are prone to asthma should consult their doctor for ‘preventers’ (kind of inhalers) to get some relief,” points out Dr. Chhabra.
  • Keep watching when children are playing with fireworks. Adult supervision is a must.
  • Children should hold lighted sparklers away from their body and should wear cotton stuff.

First aid for burns

  • Cool the burn Place the burned area under cool, running water. Alternatively, you could dip a cloth in chilled water, and place it on the burn. Do not apply ice to the burn. Cool, running water is the best. Keep the burnt area under running water until the pain subsides.
  • Remove cloth (if any) from the burned area immediately. Cut the clothing if you have to. If the clothing is stuck to the skin, which may be the case in second or third degree burns, do not remove it.
  • Take care not to break any blisters, which may have formed as a result of the burn.
  • Gauze the injured part after you have cooled the burn for about fifteen minutes. Apply an ointment specific to burns and then cover the burnt area with clean gauze or with cling film.
  • If your eyes get burnt, flush the eyes continuously with water, and call a doctor immediately. If your child is wearing contact lenses, remove them.

Why Say ‘NO’ to Firecrackers

Psychological effects on children Dr. Deepak Raheja, Head Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon shares, “The explosions and smoke from the crackers cause scare among some children and this eventually leads to different types of phobia in their later life. The blasts are not at all appealing to the kids, which in future can bring anxiety disorder and panic disorder among them.”

Hearing loss- Prolonged exposure to any noise above 90 dB (decibel) causes hearing impairment of a permanent nature. An infant below one year of age is vulnerable as the structure of the ear is very delicate. Sudden noise at levels greater than 115 dB can cause rupture of the eardrum resulting in permanent deafness. Children are the biggest victims of cracker induced hearing loss, as their defense mechanism is not fully developed to withstand the increased intensity of noise. It is advisable to get your child hearing checked immediately if there is a ringing sound in the ears or difficulty in hearing after bursting crackers.

Asthmatic suffers a lot during Diwali. Dr. Rajiv Chhabra consultant Paediatric and Neonatal Instenivist at Artemis Health Institute informs, “Fire crackers when burnt release pollutants like sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, etc, which damage the respiratory tract. For asthma patients these pollutants further irritate the bronchial mucosa and swell up the inner linings of the respiratory tract. This causes spasms in the patients, triggering off asthma attacks.”

So why not save better to use the money saved on firecrackers to donate sweets to less-privileged children in your neighborhood. The joys emerging on their faces will light up your lives and Diwali.

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