Firecrackers, stray bullet injure 3 children
- Sheila Crisostomo () - December 24, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday that two children who suffered eye injuries from fireworks and another from a stray bullet were among the first casualties of the Yuletide revelry.

In a report, the DOH’s National Epidemiology Center (NEC) noted that the three victims were among the 10 cases recorded on Dec. 22 and 23. The DOH has a “Kontra Paputok” program.

The report showed that a one-year-old boy from Metro Manila suffered eye injury while watching a neighbor light “luces” or sparklers. He was treated at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City.

A six-year-old boy from Western Visayas also suffered eye injury after lighting sparklers.

He was taken to the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City.

The NEC monitored one case of stray bullet on Dec. 23 involving a 10-year-old girl from Nueva Ecija who was hit in the right flank.

The DOH added that of the nine fireworks victims, seven were “active users.”

“There were six reported injuries from Metro Manila. The most common fireworks were piccolo, luces and five-star,” the report said.

These statistics, according to the DOH, were based on reports submitted by 36 sentinel hospitals across the country, while 16 hospitals have not yet forwarded any report.

Early this month, the DOH started campaigning against the use of firecrackers and guns on Christmas and New Year.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that there are no safe fireworks - whether legal or illegal - and even minor injuries or burns could become fatal when infection sets in.

Even the seemingly harmless watusi or dancing pyrotechnics is poisonous because of its yellow phosphorous content, while luces can generate heat up to 10 times the boiling point of water.

Duque said the public should use other harmless noise-making devices in celebrating the Yuletide season.

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH EAST AVENUE MEDICAL CENTER HEALTH SECRETARY FRANCISCO DUQUE ILOILO CITY KONTRA PAPUTOK METRO MANILA NATIONAL EPIDEMIOLOGY CENTER NUEVA ECIJA QUEZON CITY WESTERN VISAYAS
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