Health experts alarmed over younger firecracker victims

BAGUIO CITY – Health authorities in the city are alarmed over the increasing number of children wounded during the celebration of the Yuletide revelry.

Dr. Donnnabel Tubera, Medical Officer IV of the City Health Services Office and chief of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, said the easy access of children to firecrackers and pyrotechnic materials has served as a challenge to health and law enforcement authorities to intensify their respective information and education campaign to prevent injuries this upcoming Christmas and New Year.

Of the 11 firecracker-related injuries in the city for the period December 16, 2015 to January 5, 2016, 72 percent are individuals who belong to the age bracket 9 to 14 while 55 percent of the registered injuries are males and 45 percent are females.

Tubera disclosed half of the children who were injured had direct access to firecrackers or pyrotechnics, while the other half happened to be passer-buys.

According to her, it is high time for parents to start teaching their children the serious negative effects of using firecrackers and to convinced them to embrace alternative ways of celebrating the coming of the New Year, particularly the sounding of various objects, beating of gongs or anything that will create noise to drive away the bad spirits and bring success for the coming year.

Tubera interpreted the increase in the number of firecracker-related incidents as a welcome development because people are now seeking medical attention once injured, to prevent them from being infected with the dreaded tetanus. She claimed it is still best for the local residents to refrain from using them for the sake of safety and to prevent their bright future from being compromised or for their bodies to be complete right at the start of a new year.

She disclosed the different public and private hospitals in the city are ready to provide medical treatment to those who insist and become victims of the use of the said materials but they should always inculcate in their minds that prevention is better than cure.

She also claimed it is high time for the local legislative body to enact the required ordinance for a total ban in the city to compel local residents to willfully embrace alternative measures to celebrate the holidays and make sure they are spared from injures at the beginning of the year.

More than 30,000 local residents signed a manifesto for the local legislative body to enact an ordinance banning the sale and use of firecrackers in the city but local legislators do not seem to prioritize the said matter./By Dexter A. See


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