GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 Dec) – Health personnel in South Cotabato province have stepped up their campaign against the use of firecrackers and fireworks after it already recorded two injury cases in the area in the last three weeks.
Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) chief, said Friday two young boys from the municipality of Tupi have sustained finger and hand injuries due to separate firecracker explosions.
He said the first case, which was recorded last Nov. 30, involved a 12-year-old boy who was treated at the rural health unit of Tupi.
The second victim was a seven-year-old boy who was brought to a local hospital for treatment last Dec. 7.
“These were all caused by accidental explosions of the banned firecracker piccolo,” he said in a media forum.
Aturdido urged anew residents, especially children, to refrain from using firecrackers and fireworks to avoid possible injuries.
He advised parents to monitor the activities of their children, especially during the Christmas and New Year holidays.
“We can only prevent these injuries if we will shun from these materials. We can celebrate the season even without firecrackers and fireworks. It is even joyful if we celebrate it with complete hands,” he said.
The official said their advocacy and awareness campaign against the use of firecrackers and fireworks are currently ongoing in various parts of the province.
He said they have distributed tarpaulins and other materials that show pictures of firecracker victims in the areas in the past years.
The campaign is mainly focused on children and teenagers that posted the most number of firecracker-related injuries in the area in the previous Christmas and New Year holidays, he said.
Based on the IPHO’s records, the number of firecracker-related injuries in the province have continued to increase in the last several years.
In the previous Christmas and New Year holidays, the province posted a total of 104 firecracker-related injury cases, 50 of which involved children aged 2 to 10.
Thirty-five cases listed were within the age range of 11 to 20, and 92 of the total 104 victims involved males.
“Ninety-seven of the 104 victims were injured because they played with the firecrackers,” Aturdido said.
Two of the victims suffered amputation and another two with eye injuries. Two cases of stray bullets were also recorded in the area.
Piccolo caused the most injuries with 78 victims, followed by kwitis with 10, five-star with 4, pulbura with 3 and sparklers with 3.