Firecrackers:Parents should be cautious, Minto experts

The number of eye injuries caused by firecrackers seems to be on the increase, despite the government issuing strict guidelines for the Deepavali celebrations.  

The number of eye injuries caused by firecrackers seems to be on the increase, despite the government issuing strict guidelines for the Deepavali celebrations.  

The city has witnessed several cases of children having suffered severe eye injuries, with two of them close to losing their vision in one eye permanently.    

Authorities had raised awareness on the hazards of using firecrackers on every possible platform, including newspapers, radio, television and pamphlets. But despite this, citizens were seen flouting rules. 

Both government and private eye hospitals recorded several cases of injuries caused by crackers. Had parents and elders been more cautious when children were playing with crackers, such incidents could have been avoided, experts said. 

Dr B L Sujatha, medical director, Minto Eye Hospital, said they were looking into the family background of each victim to try and understand their circumstances and situation better.

"In the case of the two children who sustained serious injuries, there were no elders around to monitor them. Both Sadiha Banu (13) and Monesh (7) are on the verge of losing their right eye," she said.

Banu sustained injuries to her eye in DJ Halli as she went to check on a flower pot cracker. She was taken to Minto hospital, where she underwent a surgery.   

Dr Sujatha said Monesh's parents were working as labourers in the city. The family hailed from Kalaburagi. One of their neighbours gave Monesh and his brother some crackers when their parents were away at work. The children, hardly aged seven and eight, were bursting crackers without being monitored. 

She also said there should be a designated spot for bursting crackers as well as watching fireworks, as is practised in the United States. "But due to paucity of space and density of population, it is not possible in India." 

Campaign early 

According to Dr Sujatha, from next year, awareness drives should begin a month before the festival. "Safety measures for bursting crackers should be included in the school syllabus. Deepavali is celebrated across all communities as children love to burst crackers. The BBMP should expand its approach to avoid such incidents next year." 

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Firecrackers:Parents should be cautious, Minto experts

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