Chennai: Crackers have always been a threat, especially to children playing with fireworks. The death of a boy due to cracker injuries in Maharashtra even before Deepavali rang alarm bells, and doctors in the city have requested parents to keep a tab on children. They have also listed first aid measures to be adopted in case of burns.
Smoke from crackers not only harms the environment, but also the human body. Inhaling this smoke can cause serious allergies and health problems due to its toxic nature.
“Asthma and wheezing are the most common respiratory problems people suffer due to inhaling polluted air. Though it is easy to ask people not to burst crackers, it is quite difficult to have it implemented. Infants and children need to be treated with utmost care as they are susceptible to irritation from cracker smoke,” said Dr N. Suresh, Senior Consultant - Paediatrics & Paediatric Allergy, Rainbow Children's Hospital, Guindy, Chennai.
“Those in the high-risk group like babies, elders and those with already existing medical conditions like lung problems, should be prevented from exposed to smoke,” said Dr Anantha Subramanian R, M.D. (Tuberculosis & Respiratory Medicine), Consultant - Department of Respiratory Medicine, Kauvery Hospital.
“It is advisable to use a mask or handkerchief to avoid inhaling the toxic fumes and always keep a rescue inhaler at hand. Asthmatic patients are more prone to complications, as smoke worsens their condition further,” he said.
Speaking of injuries, a majority of them caused by fireworks are superficial minor burns, said Dr Selva Seetha Raman. S, HOD & Senior Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Chennai. The only damage is on the top layer of the skin, making the area reddish and painful.
“They don't require any special treatment except for medication for pain relief and soothing surface agents like coconut oil and Aloe Vera gel. Keep the wound clean. However, if your burn looks severe, it is best to seek medical assistance. Also burn injuries to the hand, eyes, face, private parts - though it may appear small, may be very significant, and hence, should consult a doctor to avoid long-term consequences,” he said.