Firecrackers hurt 2 minors in Cordillera

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

HEALTH officials renewed their call for a safer New Year's Day celebration after two minors were recently injured due to firecrackers before Christmas.

Department of Health (DOH) Emergency Management Service officer Elnoria Bugnosen said two minors in Baguio City and Sagada, Mountain Province were among the first posted in records for firecracker-related injuries this year.

An 11-year-old boy in Barangay San Luis, Baguio City was the first on the injury list after sustaining burns due to a piccolo, which exploded in his right hand on December 22. He was immediately discharged from Baguio General Hospital after he was given treatment.

Also, a 16-year-old male was reported to have sustained blast injuries from plapla in Barangay Bangaan, Sagada, Mountain Province on December 24. Three fingers in his right hand were amputated.

The minor also sustained multiple lacerations and abrasions in his face due to the blast. He is now recuperating at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center.

Bugnosen said government and private hospitals are on alert this New Year to treat victims of firecracker injuries, especially children.

She also called on parents of minors not to allow their children to buy and use firecrackers, as injuries could be traumatic for them.

Bugnosen said that aside from pain experienced during amputation due to blast injuries, children will have to bear for a lifetime the physical disabilities and scars of their being careless with firecrackers.

Some victims, she added, are not active users of firecrackers but become victims when they collect unexploded pyrotechnics after New Year's Day.

Parents are partly to blame when children get injured as the youth always look up to adults as example, she added.

The DOH has been advocating for safer means of noise making and welcoming the New Year through torotots or trumpets, home-made drums and whistles.

She added money spent on firecrackers could well be spent for food and other health needs like purchasing vitamins for children.

The DOH recently welcomed moves of local governments like Baguio City and Benguet's capital town, La Trinidad, to ban the selling of firecrackers and pyrotechnics in their areas as another component of their Iwas Paputok campaign commonly known as Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR).

Bugnosen said local governments could initiate centralized fireworks displays to prevent injuries yearly logged by the DOH.

However, she said an ordinance in local governments banning the sale and use of firecrackers with corresponding penalties for violators would also be an effective way of reducing injuries reported yearly.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 27, 2013.

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