Boy, 11, teen first firecracker victims
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - December 23, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - An 11-year-old boy and an 18-year-old girl were the first casualties of firecrackers this Yuletide season, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

DOH Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said yesterday the two victims were reported to the agency’s surveillance system for injuries related to firecrackers and indiscriminate firing. The surveillance system began monitoring such cases last Friday.

“Both cases had eye injuries,” Tayag said.

The boy came from Leyte and had used an unknown firecracker. He sustained corneal abrasion in both eyes.

The teenager, on the other hand, suffered irritation conjunctivitis in the left eye after watching the fireworks display of University of Sto. Tomas the other night.

The surveillance system runs from Dec. 21 to Jan. 5 next year and is part of the DOH “Aksyon Paputok Injury Reduction: Iwas Paputok” campaign, which is aimed at discouraging the use of firecrackers during the New Year revelry.

Based on DOH records, there were 1,021 injuries from firecracker blasts, stray bullets and firecracker ingestion from Dec. 21, 2011 to Jan. 5, 2012. Four of them died from firecrackers and one from a stray bullet.

Of that number, a total of 987 were due to firecrackers while 29 were due to stray bullets and five due to firecracker ingestion.

Tayag reiterated the DOH’s call for the public to use alternative means to make noise to celebrate the New Year because “there are no safe firecrackers.”

AKSYON PAPUTOK INJURY REDUCTION ASSISTANT SECRETARY ERIC TAYAG DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH FIRECRACKERS IWAS PAPUTOK JAN LEYTE NEW YEAR TAYAG TOMAS UNIVERSITY OF STO
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