On the safe side

On the safe side

Every year, there is always a sense of euphoria about the festival of lights — Deepavali. Bangaloreans look forward to the occasion for weeks, making preparations to ensure that the celebrations are unforgettable.

Sweets are bought aplenty, diyas lit across homes and of course, crackers burst. The problem, though, is that several untoward incidents do take place around this time of the year.

A majority of these are because of carelessness while bursting crackers. In Bangalore alone, there are records for 460 to 500 eye injuries — with more than six losing their sight permanently — every year during Deepavali.

Metrolife speaks to some people about the precautions that they can take to have an
injury-free Deepavali.

Anmol, an event manager, says, “When I was young, I was very excited about bursting crackers. But now, after learning about the ill-effects of it, I have stopped. However, my friends still enjoy doing this every year. As a precaution, I always suggest that
they wear tight clothes.

The problem is that since this is a festival, many people wear traditional clothes. Girls wear saris or loose salwars while bursting crackers; such clothes can easily catch fire. Another suggestion I have is to hold the end of the cracker that is covered with white paper; it increases the time the cracker takes to burst, thereby giving time to the person
who has lit it to reach a safe place.”

Sanaaz, a Bangalorean, feels that crackers should always be burst in open grounds.
She says, “Burning crackers on roads should be banned. If one wants to celebrate, they should go to an open ground and do it. The government should allot a specific time
for bursting crackers; it should be ideally be for three to four hours. I have observed that people hold crackers in their hands and throw it up in the air when it bursts. Such practices should be seriously stopped.”

The most affected during the festival are children. They have to be supervised while they are indulging in the celebrations. Swathi, an IT professional, says, “Children are the ones who are prone to getting affected in this festival, so parents should ensure that they are safe. They have to be monitored throughout the festival. Another piece of advice I have for girls is to tie their hair. Most of the girls I have observed light crackers with their hair loose — which is dangerous as it can easily catch fire.”

Dr Bhujan Shetty, chief of Narayana Nethralaya, says, “In case a cracker bursts too close to the eyes or chemicals go into them, it is advised that a person washes the eyes
with cold water for more than five minutes. And immediately, he or she should be taken to the doctor.

Delaying the treatment could result in loss of sight. At Narayana Nethralaya, on the days of festival, we employ extra staff. The consultancy and primary treatment is
free of cost.”

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