MANILA, Dec. 27 (PNA) — The Department of Health (DOH) said on Sunday it recorded a total of 81 firecracker-related injuries after six days of nationwide surveillance and monitoring since Dec. 21.

The latest figure, collated from reports submitted by the DOH sentinel hospitals, showed 26 fireworks-related injuries were recorded in the past 24 hours ending at 6 a.m. This raised the previous total of such injuries from 55 as of Saturday to 81 as of Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, the victim of stray bullet remains at one, meaning no additional case has been reported during the past 24 hours.

The victim was a 34-year-old male from Bayambang, Pangasinan who was hit in his left thigh during a drinking spree in his residence.

The patient is currently recuperating at Region I Medical Center in Dagupan City.

The DOH nationwide surveillance on fireworks-related injuries started from 12 a.m. of Dec. 21 and will end on Jan. 5, 2016.

According to the firecracker-related injury surveillance of the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau (DOH-EB), the number of cases as of Sunday is lower by 76 cases or 48 percent in comparison with the previous five-year average (2010-2014).

Also, in comparison with the same period of last year, wherein a total of 140 cases was recorded, the number of firecracker-related injuries so far this year is lower by 42 percent or 59 cases.

Based on the records, 75 percent or a total of 60 individuals sustained hand injuries. Nine victims suffered eye injuries.

The other victims were injured at their back, chest, head, face, forearm/arm, leg, foot, abdomen and ears.

The oldest of the victims was 52 years old while the youngest was one year old.

A total of 68 or 85 percent of the cases were males.

Majority of the igniters are active, meaning already engaging in igniting firecrackers in the past.

By cause, piccolo, the small match-like prohibited firecracker, remains the top culprit, accounting for 61 of the total of 81 so far.

Other firecrackers that caused injuries included kwitis, Sparkler, Five Star and other not very well known firecrackers.

The most number of 28 cases by area was recorded in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Of these cases, seven occurred in Quezon City; six in Manila; five in Mandaluyong City; three in Paranaque; two each in Caloocan City, Pateros, and Pasay City; and one in Marikina City.

There were 19 cases in Region V Bico); 14 cases in Region XI (Davao); five cases in Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN); four cases in Region IV-A (Calabarzon); three cases in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR; two cases each in Regions I (Ilocos), III (Central Luzon) and VI-B (Mimaropa); and one each in Regions II (Cagayan Valley) and VII (Central Visayas).

As this developed, the DOH repeated its call on all parents and caregivers to ensure that children will not have access to firecrackers.

“Make sure your children will not buy, pick or play with firecrackers… To parents, do not give firecrackers as gifts,” said DOH Secretary Janette L. Garin.

The DOH Chief said that permanent disabilities resulting from igniting firecrackers can be prevented if parents and caregivers will keep an eye on their children.

She added that parents should think of their children’s future because productivity and self-esteem of children will be lessened once disabilities and scars happen because of illegal firecrackers which, in the first place, should never reach the hands of children at a time when every family should be happily celebrating.

Dr. Garin also repeated her call for the public to be safe and support the anti-firecracker campaign and instead enjoy watching the community fireworks displays in their cities and municipalities.

She also reminded that merrymaking can also be done through other noise-making alternatives such as banging of pans, pots and kitchen utensils, car honking, using of musical instruments and other noise-making materials that will not be destructive to others.

She likewise said that parlor games, street parties, dancing and singing contests or videoke singing can help a lot to make the celebration safe and more enjoyable and away from injuries. Leilani S. Junio/PNA/