GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/23 Dec.) — Health authorities in South Cotabato recorded over the weekend the province’s fifth firecracker-related injury despite the intensified campaign against the selling and use of firecrackers in the area.
A report released by the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital said a nine-year-old boy identified as Jerry Uy was brought to the facility for treatment at around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday due to a hand injury caused by an explosion of the banned piccolo firecracker.
The victim was playing with firecrackers near their residence in Forro Subdivision in Koronadal City when the incident happened.
The hospital report noted that the firecracker exploded at the hands of Uy moments after he picked it up, thinking that it was a dud.
Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., South Cotabato health officer, said Uy is the fifth case or victim in the province so far due to firecracker explosion.
He said four other victims, who were all children, were injured due to firecracker explosion based on their monitoring since October.
Three of the five firecracker-related injury cases in the province were recorded in the last three weeks, he said.
“We’re calling on our parents to look after their children to avoid these kinds of injuries. We can celebrate Christmas and New Year without risking ourselves to possible firecracker and firework explosions,” he said in a radio interview.
As early as November, the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) started its province-wide information and education campaign in a bid to address the rising incidence of firecracker-related injuries in the province during the Christmas season.
The IPHO had focused its campaign in local schools to raise awareness and advocacy among children regarding the use of firecrackers and fireworks, especially during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve revelries.
The IPHO’s epidemiology and surveillance unit earlier reported that the province’s fireworks and firecracker-related injuries in the previous Christmas season reached a total of 86 cases.
Such figure increased by 59 percent when compared to the 54 cases recorded in 2011, said IPHO epidemiology and surveillance unit head Cecile Lorenzo.
She said 38 of the victims involved children aged 5 to 10 while the youngest victim was just six months old.
Lorenzo said piccolo was the number one cause of injuries with 51 cases such has been the trend in the province in the last three years. (MindaNews)