Till the next new year-A A +A
Saturday, January 5, 2013
LOOKING back to a tradition, why do we complain a few hours after the New Year’s blasts about the danger of fireworks when we don’t actually do something more effective about it?
The parents spoil the children by allowing them to handle fireworks even as they swear not to do it again next year.
Talking about safety against fireworks may be late in time as now, which is a few days after the first day of the year. And you might find the topic untimely?
When we read or watch news on the first day of the year, it’s more for a count of injuries as update and even of the incidents of deaths caused by the careless use of firecrackers (holiday explosives, are there such things?). And this year’s case wasn’t an exception.
The news says that where we begin year 2013, the count in Central Visayas has been 76 firecracker victims, according to the Health department in the region.
But there were no casualties. (So we go on with the tradition regarding fireworks without strictly implementing laws against individual fireworks user next year?).
“Stray baby rockets hit 2” was the way the news went about a “kwitis” hitting a young man in Talisay on New Year’s Eve, and another young man sustaining a hit in the left eye.
Another news on the same day says a young man was shot in the face by a villager who got angry with the firecracker play by neighbors who made terrible noise just outside his house.
It’s the usual report on fireworks injuries. We are getting used to it, like to naughty games in the neighborhood we grew up in.
But actually, what are we doing about it? Only those hurt, those who lost fingers and/or an arm, would keep away from thoughts of fireworks and revelry in careless blasts.
In November last year, the Philippine National Police held fireworks safety seminars all other the country, even earlier in August last year, or so the news went. This is even with the cooperation of pyrotechnic manufacturers and dealers.
To children from age 6 to 10, the Health department is saying that dancing (instead of playing with firecrackers) is more fun and so late last year, Health under-secretary Dr. Eric Tayag did the Korean horse-riding dance for children to open the anti-firecracker campaign of the health office.
The fireworks aspect of the holiday tradition throughout the world is part of many cultures but it should not hurt anyone. It’s a tradition in the Americas, as much as in Asia.
The culture is handled carefully, but the blasts hurt. All “consumer fireworks” or individual use of firecrackers are banned in some States while there’s a charitable organization called the National Council for Firework Safety helping out in the spread of facts about the dangers of fireworks.
But in 2010 in the US, some 8,600 people were in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks injuries of burns in people’s heads, faces, eyes and ears, hands, fingers and legs. About 50 percent of the injuries were borne by children and young adults 20 years old and below.
Some US states ban consumer fireworks while others allow only sparklers.
Organized displays of fireworks entrusted to coordinators must go with the ban of individual users. Legal acts like bans should faithfully be implemented and the intent of bans, as well as the spread of information on safety, should be put into serious practice, especially with the help of parents and guardians. Strict use of the responsibility to avoid injuries should be expected of them.
Even with the spread of safety measures, simple rules should never be underestimated. It’s not a joke when in the US people follow a rule that says “Keep a bucket of water” to prevent any firecrackers to spread heat in the vicinity.
Parents can help make the anti-firecracker campaign work, first with a bucket of water for 2014.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 06, 2013.