Festival safety tips and tricks

Keep in mind the risks when you go out celebrating. Doctors give you friendly advice on how you can make the best of the festival and remain healthy

Be mindful of safety in the course of your festivities.

Deepavali is almost here, and the season demands a lot of care and precaution for safe celebration.

The season sees a spike in cases of hearing loss, eye injuries and complaints by patients who have heart and breathing ailments.

For a hearty day

Dr Praveen P Sadarmin, consultant interventional cardiologist, St Martha’s Heart Centre, Narayana Health notes that there is always a slight peak in heart ailments and complaints during Deepavali.

He adds that meeting the family and immersing in the festivities gives a psychological boost but good planning is needed to help keep issues at bay.

“It is best for heart patients to stay indoors. There are different types of heart patients: ones who are stable and others who suffered a recent heart attack/problem. The ones who are still recovering should definitely avoid loud noise and being exposed to smoke from the firecrackers,” he says. 

Find a spot in the house, like a window, where one can see family bursting crackers, while you relax with other members around. 

Keeping one’s tablets in place and planning where to head to in case of an emergency is also needed. “Meeting the doctor in advance, if one has concerns is also advised.”  

Cover up when outside

Respiratory ailments are common during this season. Dr Ashwathy K, general physician, Bannerghatta Road, says that onlookers and people bursting crackers should cover themselves up.

“It’s best to stay away from firecrackers entirely. But if you must, then buy branded fireworks. Cheaper alternatives release more chemicals and harmful elements,” she says.

Burn injuries and allergies are also common during festivities.

“It’s best to apply a body lotion before one leaves the house. Drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated is a must as this removes toxins from the body,” she adds.

More crackers, more sound

Hearing impairment cases often see a rise during this season.

Dr Santosh S, senior consultant (ENT), Columbia Asia Hospitals, Hebbal, says, “Incidents of noise-induced hearing loss are common this season. It could be a temporary threshold shift or permanent.”

He adds, “Many complain of a ringing sensation during this season, which could last for a day or more if there is damage to the eardrum.” 

He warns citizens to never burst two or more crackers together. “The more crackers burst at the same time, the more the sound.”

To cut the noise, wearing earmuffs when inside the house is an option, but one should use cotton balls, when outdoors. “It is also the season when asthma, cold and many other infections rise, thus wearing a mask protecting the nose area is important,” he adds.

Bring out those goggles

Dr Kavya Nagaraj, cornea surgeon, Sankara Eye Hospital says that eye complications are common now.

She says, “Injuries due to the presence of intraocular foreign bodies, chemicals or high-velocity are seen.”

Irritation of the eye is also observed because of the floating dust particles in the air. Eyes must be protected with effective eyewear. “Both bystanders and people who are bursting crackers need to wear protective goggles (covered around the sides). Burst crackers at a safe distance,” she says.

If one hurts their eye or notices any redness or sting in the eyes, consult an ophthalmologist immediately, instead of self-treating.

Safe cracker bursting

Follow these while bursting crackers outside:

  • Avoid high-intensity fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water around when bursting crackers to douse fire in case of emergency. 
  • Apply lotion before going outdoors to avoid skin allergies.
  • Wear fitting clothes. Do not wear loose festive wear.
  • Keep a first-aid kit around.
  • When children are bursting crackers, adult supervision is a must.
  • Keep fireworks and matchboxes/lighters away from each other.
  • Keep sparklers at a safe hand’s distance to avoid burns. Use a long sparkler to light other crackers.
  • Wear protective eyewear and protect your ears.
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