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Keywords:

  • children;
  • epidemiology;
  • fireworks injury;
  • India;
  • urban

Abstract

Objective

We studied the epidemiology of paediatric firework-related injury in the urban population of Delhi during the festival of lights (Diwali).

Methods

In this prospective observational study, data were collected on the day of Diwali for two consecutive years, 2010 and 2011. All children with firework injuries coming to the emergency room were included in the study. Data were recorded in a predesigned proforma.

Results

Of the 65 cases, 75% were males and 25% were females; most children were more than 10 years of age and majority (90%) of them were unsupervised. Half (49%) of the cases were due to misuse of the fireworks or erratic behaviour, among which the most common observed mode was igniting cracker while holding it (18 cases; 24% of total injuries), which led to injuries to the hand and palm. Device failure was the next common cause for firework injuries, including unexpected blast of the crackers and string bomb as the most common. Overall, the most commonly injured body sites were hands (62%), face (32%) and eyes (10%). Crackers and string bomb mainly caused injuries to hands; fountains and gunpowder caused injuries to the face. Sixty (94%) children were managed conservatively and 5 (6%) required skin grafting and tendon repair.

Conclusion

We recommend parental supervision especially for males, wearing non-synthetic and non-flowing clothes, promoting branded crackers and educational campaigns in schools to curtail the rising trend in firework-related injuries in the paediatric population.