SAN CARLOS CITY, Pangasinan — The Pangasinan Provincial Health Office (PHO) has recorded the first firecracker-caused injury in the province with a nine-year-old boy as victim from Barangay Turac here.
In an interview Thursday, provincial health officer, Dr. Anna Ma. Teresa de Guzman said the victim was rushed to a nearby hospital after a firecracker locally known as “kwitis” (baby rocket) exploded in his face on Christmas Eve.
“The victim also received eye injuries because of the incident,” she said.
De Guzman said the victim, according to his father, picked up the “kwitis” and lit it up.
“The father said he was unable to take notice that his son was injured because they were busy preparing for Noche Buena,” she added.
As of this writing, the boy is still confined in the hospital as further observations will be made on the victim’s eyes.
“The victim was given anti-tetanus, tetanus toxoid, antibiotics, and other medicines,” de Guzman said.
PHO recorded 101 cases of firecracker-related injuries from Dec. 20, 2018 to Jan. 7, 2019, only 5.6 percent lower compared to the 107 cases recorded from Dec. 20, 2017 to Jan. 7, 2018.
“The main culprits in firecracker-related incidents last year are kwitis and piccolo, which are easily and readily sold and bought in sari-sari stores in barangays as these are small and cheap. These can also be bought by children, who are mostly the victims last year,” de Guzman said in a previous interview.
Meanwhile, the provincial health officer is urging parents to supervise their children during the holidays, especially on New Year’s Eve.
She said while the 14 provincial government-run hospitals in Pangasinan are ready to accommodate firecracker-related injuries, only passive victims will be treated for free.
“Passive users are those just bystanders and not using firecrackers themselves when they were injured,” she added.
The prohibited firecrackers aside from kwitis are piccolo, watusi, giant whistle bomb, giant bawang, large judas belt, super lolo, lolo thunder, atomic bomb, atomic bomb trianggulo, pillbox, boga, kwiton, goodbye earth, goodbye bading, hello Columbia, coke-in-can, kabasi, and og. PNA – northboundasia.com