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Eye Health Safety Tips for Diwali

Sightsavers 20 October 2014 Tips for Diwali

Diwali is the festival of light. Perhaps its most iconic celebration is the colourful and dazzling display of fireworks that lights up the night sky. As beautiful as it looks, fireworks account for thousands of emergency room visits each year during the festival. The majority of injuries that impact eye health occur in bystanders. In fact the eyes are the second-most common affected area after the hands and fingers.  As expected, the leading cause of injuries on Diwali is the lack of appropriate safety measures while lighting fireworks.

Due to serious issues like eye health and safety risks involved, medical experts strongly discourage firework play of any kind. A safer alternative is watching authorised laser and firework displays operated by licensed professionals. But if you still want to use fireworks as part of your celebrations, please ensure you take the following safety precautions at all times:

  • Store fireworks in a closed box in a safe location, away from the reach of children
  • Avoid sparklers that reach temperatures as high as 1000°C – high enough to melt gold and cause serious injury
  • Keep fireworks away from the face, hair and clothing
  • Maintain a distance of an arm’s length while lighting firecrackers, and at least five metres while watching
  • Defuse used fireworks properly by soaking them in a bucket of water before disposal

In case of an accident, contact emergency medical services immediately. Do not rub, rinse or apply ointment to the eye. It may make the injury worse or difficult to examine.

By taking these simple precautions for good eye health, you will be able to enjoy fireworks on Diwali without worrying about the safety of your loved ones. Happy celebrations!

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