Firecracker-related injuries reach 70, first case of amputation recorded

MANILA — The Department of Health on Tuesday reported 70 fireworks-related injuries from Dec. 21 until 6 a.m. of Dec. 27, noting the first case of amputation.

The figure is 73 percent lower compared to the five-year average from 2011 to 2015, and 54 percent lower compared to the same time period last year.

A 23-year-old man from Gamay, Northern Samar has lost fingers on his right hand when its first, third, fourth and fifth finger bones were injured by a ‘piccolo’.

Of the 70 cases, 36 were caused by the ‘piccolo’, which was also responsible for most injuries last year; eight by the improvised cannon called ‘boga’, six by the ‘whistle bomb’, three by ‘kwitis’, two by ‘luces’ and the rest by other firecrackers. One was a case of firecracker ingestion after the boy mistook the ‘luces’ for candy due to its colorful wrapper.

Of the total, 63 (91 percent) involved males, while 51 (74 percent) involved children aged 15 years and below. The youngest victim was four years old and the oldest was 63 years old.

The National Capital Region (NCR) still topped all other regions with 33 cases (47 percent) , while eight were recorded in Western Visayas; seven each in Ilocos and Calabarzon; six in Central Visayas; and three each in Central Luzon, Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga.

In the NCR, the city of Manila was the topnotcher with 17 cases, followed by Quezon City with six; Navotas four; Marikina two; and one each from Las Piñas, Malabon, Pasay and Pasig.

Health Secretary Dr. Paulyn Ubial again urged parents to protect their children from the dangers of firecrackers. “If you love your children, you will not let them hold firecrackers… You will guard them,” she said, emphasizing that lighting firecrackers can easily go awry and result in disabilities that children could suffer for the rest of their lives.

She said parents should watch over their children and instead opt to welcome the New Year with noise-making instruments.