• 81 firecracker victims so far


    After the bang came the whimpers.

    The Department of Health (DOH) has so far recorded 81 firecracker-related injuries after six days of nationwide surveillance.

    The monitoring started on December 21.

    The number, collated from reports submitted by DOH sentinel hospitals, showed 26 fireworks-related injuries were recorded in the past 24 hours ending at 6 a.m. on Sunday. This raised the previous total of injuries from 55 as of Saturday to 81 as of Sunday morning.

    According to the department’s Epidemiology bureau, the number of cases as of Sunday is lower by 48 percent compared to the previous five-year average (2010-2014).

    It is also lower compared to the number of cases for the same period last year, wherein 140 cases were recorded.

    Based on the records, 75 percent or 60 of the victims sustained hand injuries. Nine victims suffered eye injuries.

    The other victims were injured in the back, chest, head, face, forearm/arm, leg, foot, abdomen and ears.

    The oldest of the victim was 52 years old. The youngest was a one-year-old baby.

    Majority of the victims had been using firecrackers in the past.

    Piccolo, a small match-like prohibited firecracker, remains the top culprit. Other firecrackers that caused injuries include kwitis, Sparklers and Five Star.

    The most number of cases (28) was recorded in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila).

    There were 19 cases in Region V (Bicol); 14 in Region XI (Davao); five in Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN); four in Region IV-A (Calabarzon); three in the Cordillera Administrative Region; and one each in Regions II (Cagayan Valley) and VII (Central Visayas).

    The DOH repeated its call on all parents and caregivers to ensure that children will not have access to firecrackers.

    “Make sure your children will not buy, pick or play with firecrackers… To parents, do not give firecrackers as gifts,” Health Secretary Janette Garin said.

    She added that permanent disabilities from igniting firecrackers can be prevented if parents and caregivers will keep an eye on children.

    Garin urged the public to support the anti-firecracker campaign and watch the community fireworks displays in their cities and municipalities instead.

    Only one victim of stray bullet was reported — a 34-year-old man from Bayambang, Pangasinan, who was hit in his left thigh during a drinking spree. He is recuperating in a hospital in Dagupan City.

    The DOH will end its monitoring of fireworks-related injuries on January 5, 2016.



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