Have soap, eggs ready for firecracker accidents | Inquirer News

Have soap, eggs ready for firecracker accidents

By: - Reporter / @mj_uyINQ
/ 03:21 AM December 31, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—With the continuing rise in firecracker-related accidents, the Department of Health (DOH) has advised the public to have first aid materials, including home remedies like alkaline soap and eggs ready during the New Year merrymaking.

For skin wounds, the DOG recommended washing the skin using alkaline soap—like Perla or Ivory.

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In case of firecracker ingestion, egg whites must be administered immediately to the patient. Children who may have ingested toxic substances from firecrackers must be fed at least six to eight raw egg whites, while adults must be given eight to 12 egg whites.

After administering these home remedies, the patient must be rushed to the nearest hospital or poison control center, advised the DOH.

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The DOH discouraged inducing vomiting, stomach pumping or giving any kind of oil to a patient.

In a press briefing Wednesday, Assistant Health Secretary Eric Tayag expressed fears that accidents due to the indiscriminate use of firecrackers would continue to climb in the run-up to New Year’s Eve.

As of yesterday, the health agency had monitored 197 injuries due to firecrackers, stray bullets and firecracker ingestion. Though the figure was 14 percent lower than the previous year’s, it was five percent higher than the previous five-year average.

“This year, we didn’t employ scare tactics, we don’t have posters showing grotesque photos of bloody and mangled fingers,” Tayag told reporters.

“Our belief in doing away with the old strategy is that we would be able to sway the public into trying out new alternatives to welcome the New Year,” said the health official, adding that the DOH’s “Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction” campaign was not focused on firecrackers.

“We gave more emphasis to other exciting ways to celebrate the New Year… it’s about merrymaking and street parties,” he said.

As the nation commemorated Jose Rizal’s martyrdom yesterday, Tayag also mused that if the national hero were alive and were to give advise to prevent fireworks-related injuries, it would be: “Noli Me Tangere,” referring to Rizal’s novel which means “Touch Me Not.”

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But looking at current data, Tayag admitted that the campaign may have its shortcomings.

Of the 197 cases monitored since Dec. 21, 53 percent involved children in Metro Manila, mostly male, between 1 to 10 years old.  At least 72 percent of the incidents were caused by illegal fireworks, of which 105 cases were caused by the piccolo, a small type of firecracker sold in the market at P10 per box of 60 pieces.

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TAGS: Assistant Health Secretary Eric Tayag, Department of Health, firecracker-related accidents, New Year’s revelry
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