MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) Epidemiology Bureau recorded a total of eight fireworks-related injuries (FWRI) as of 6 a.m. Thursday — four days since it began its official count and monitoring of firecracker-related related injuries last Dec. 21.

The number is 61 percent lower than the average of 14 cases recorded for the same period of 2014 and the past five years since 2010.

Half of the eight cases, or a total of four, were from the National Capital Region (NCR), followed by Region 11 (Davao del Norte) with three cases and Region 6 (Western Visayas) with one case.

All of the cases involved males aged six to 31 years old.

Majority or seven of the cases were participated in by active igniters or those who had been igniting firecrackers in the past. There was one passive case, meaning the person did not ignite the firecracker himself but was unfortunately hit in the process.

One case was noted to have led to eye injury, involving a 13-year-old boy from Manila.

To prevent the teenager from gaining severe and irreversible eye complications, he was given an anti- tetanus shot (ATS) or toxoid before he was allowed to go home.

Other injuries included avulsion (skin tear) and skin abrasion.

Again, the top culprit was “piccolo,” an illegal firecracker that was also pinpointed as the main cause of firecracker-related injuries recorded in the past years.

Health Secretary Janette L. Garin had earlier reminded the people to ensure that in case they will be wounded due to firecrackers, the best protective means to do to avoid complications or even death is to have ATS or anti-tetanus shot.

Another reminder is to ensure that the body portion hit by the firecracker is cleaned and washed thoroughly with running water and soap.

The DOH said that so far, it is good to note that cases of firecracker ingestion, stray bullet injury and death remain at zero incidence level.

Secretary Garin had earlier called on gun owners to be responsible in using their guns so that no child would be injured or even die due to indiscriminate firing during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The DOH started its official countdown and surveillance on firecracker and stray bullet-related injuries last Dec. 21.

The official countdown is conducted annually from Dec. 21 of the current year until Jan. 5 of the succeeding year. Leilani S. Junio/PNA/