DOH pushes for ‘safe and healthy’ holiday

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Friday, December 6, 2013

THE Department of Health-Cordillera continues to advocate for safety and health as back to back festivities are expected this Yuletide season.

Center for Health Development - Health Emergency Management Service Coordinator Elnoria Bugnosen said the public must be cautious this Christmas season and must avoid playing with fireworks because it is the major cause of most injuries in the region every December and January.

DOH pushes for its APIR (Aksyon: Paputok injury reduction) program which aims to minimize injuries caused by fireworks. The program prohibits buying, selling and using of fireworks in order to avoid serious injuries, tetano and other illness derived from the fireworks.

The campaign provides the reminders for safe yuletide celebrations. The agency reminds the public: fireworks cause injuries and endanger health; children should not use any firework; keep safe and away from exploding fireworks; never pick used fireworks; and seek immediate medical treatment for all firework injuries.

In order to prevent firework – injuries, the health agency advises the public to promote and participate in the community fireworks display in their area; celebrate a safe holiday with family and loved ones; use alternative noise-makers to welcome the New Year like car horns, cans, pots and pans, and radio music; join merry-making activities such as street parties, concerts, and games; and use the time to reflect on the lessons of the past year and make resolutions for a better 2014.

In 2012, Bugnosen revealed the common victims of fireworks are children 6 to 12 years old; most are male. She added piccolo caused 19 injuries while ‘pla pla’ caused seven last year. She further said injuries caused by fireworks in 2012 increased in Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Apayao, and Mt. Province.

In Baguio City, head of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit Donna Tubera revealed for the past five years, there were 103 injured patients and three fatalities because of fireworks. Baguio City has the most cases of injuries among the towns and cities of Cordillera.

The festive season is upon us once again – and for most of us that means excessive amounts of eating and drinking. However, Bugnosen urged the public to watch what they eat this season.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 07, 2013.

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