Diwali is one festival which is celebrated with great joy and pride in India. Apart from lights, decorations, sweets, worshipping Goddess Lakshmi, Gift exchanges, the festive mood also brings with it some issues which can be detrimental to health and peace.
LETS WEIGH THE RISKS
The firecrackers bring fun and excitement but also they play with our life. Tonnes of deadly gases like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and toxic particles of barium, cadmium, nitrate mercury etc are released into air rendering it unfit for living.
Difficulty in Breathing
Due to congested air, some people are not able to breathe properly and feel choked.
People with history of asthma are predisposed to increased chances of getting asthmatic attacks.
Foul Play of Smog
Gases mixed with vehicular pollution and winter fog lead to a dense layer called Smog. It covers the atmosphere like a sheet and can cause cough, sneezing, lung problems and even skin or lung cancer.
Temperature of our atmosphere gets elevated due to heat generated by these gases. Its filthy effect on protective layer, ozone leads to its depletion and thus in turn causing harm to living beings.
Accumulated Plastic Waste
Usage of disposable plastic mugs, plates and spoons for families and gatherings and packing material for gifts add up to lot of garbage. Lack or Improper disposal of this waste may have an adverse effect on our ecosystem and health.
Sounds of firecrackers, music, loudspeakers easily surpass the normal protective decibel sound.
People may suffer from hearing problems and sometimes it can cause deafness or permanent hear loss.
Loud noises can cause uneasiness in chest especially in heart patients. It may lead to increase in blood pressure and risk of developing heart attack.
Multiple and high pitch sounds during Diwali may cause may interfere with sleep pattern leading to sleep disturbances.
These sounds become irritating for some people making them causing anxiety and restlessness.
Loud explosions during Diwali may affect the mental state making people prone to develop nervous disorders and psychological problems.
Other problems due to Noise
Headaches, Delirium, Anger, Impulsive problems, Depression, Aggression, Nausea, Giddiness etc.
Skin has to face lot of impact of pollution during Diwali. Contaminated air can cause skin allergy, irritation, sensitivity, rashes, flaking, dryness etc Also, it can cause aggravation of existing skin problems.
Effects on Eyes
There may be redness, itchiness, infections and watering from eyes due to the irritation caused by harmful substances in air during Diwali.
Effects on Children
Diwali takes a great toll on lives of poor children. These children work for long hours in firework factories and face serious health issues due to exposure to poisonous substances and metals that are released in the process.
Effects on Pregnant Women
Toxic smoke and noise pollution may have adverse effects on the health during a tender state like pregnancy. It may lead to miscarriage too.
Effects on Elderly
In old age, defines systems of body become weak. Also, the normal functions of the body become slow. So elderly people may easily get serious illnesses from air and noise.
Effect on Diabetics
Excessive consumption of sweets may risen up sugar levels and can cause severe problems.
Stomach Problems and Infections
Harmful chemicals from firecrackers can cause contamination of hands and fingers. These may get transferred inside body while easting food and may lead to gastric problems and infections.
Effect on Multiple Body Organs
As these days, sweets are laden with harmful preservatives, they may put an unbearable effect on multiple organ systems like Liver and Kidney.
Sudden or accidental bursting and mishandling of firecrackers may cast burn injuries especially in children. Sometimes, the burn injuries may be really deep causing the loss of life.
Firecrackers may prey upon houses, buildings, industries and even people. We often hear devastating news of a firecracker storage building catching fire and leading to loss of property and many lives.
WAYS TO DEAL
Wear Face Mask
It will prevent the harmful gases to go into your system and also protects the skin of your face by forming a barrier.
Cover Your Body Well
It is good to wear full sleeves clothes which can help you avoid the harmful gases to come into direct contact with your skin. Avoid wearing loose clothes as they may easily catch fire.
Wear Ear Plugs
They will filter the sound of loud explosives before getting into your ears. Thus they can safeguard your ears from the damage by noise.
Use Quality Fireworks Only
Buy crackers of good brand and that too from a licensed shop. Read and follow the safety instructions regarding their usage.
Proper Storage of Crackers
Do not put firecrackers in your pockets. They should be kept at a safe and cool place in a closed box or container.
Safe Distance from Firecrackers
Keep them away from your hair, face, body as much as you can. Atleast a distance of one arm be kept.
Don’t Dare to be Barefoot
Always wear slippers while bursting firecrackers.
Burst in Open Places
Avoid roads and small, crowded, congested places for lightning crackers. Open fields and playgrounds can be better places.
Check the directions of crackers like rockets before igniting them. If you have not done so, it may directly head inside a house through open window or into some building or an electric cable.
Avoid Sources of Ignition
Avoid smoking and using match boxes / lighters to lit cigarettes/candles near the places where people are bursting crackers.
Don’t Experiment with Firecrackers
Avoid lighting or bursting a cracker while holding it in hand. Do not go back to check the unburnt or half burnt cracker. Never throw lighted crackers at others for fun.
Instructions for Children
Always keep the firecrackers away from the reach of children. If young kids are excited to burst firecrackers, allow them to do so only under supervision of adult.
Safe Parking of Vehicles
Make sure that you place your car or scooter in the garage or closed space on Diwali night. It will help reduce fire incidents if a cracker falls on them and the fuel catching fire.
Water Containers and Blankets
Always fill and keep some water containers and blankets near the place. They can be a good way to be ready in case a fire is caught.
Instructions for Disposal
Firecrackers should be first defused by putting them in a water bucket. After they are completely defused, dispose them properly.
Guidelines for Pregnant Women, Elderly and Heart Patients
It is good for these people to stay inside their homes while the firecrackers are bursting. This will protect them from toxic fumes and loud unbearable noises. Earplugs can be used to avoid noise of crackers, explosions and loud music.
Careful while Consuming Sweets
Try to minimise consumption of sweets as they may have harmful chemical preservatives and ingredients which can damage kidneys and liver. Keep a distance from sweets with silver coating as they might contain aluminium metal which may be have harmful effect on brain.
Precautions for Diabetics
Avoid taking sweets and minimise intake of starchy food like chips. Also follow the above mentioned points for consuming sweets.
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Picking Useful Gifts
Choosing sensible and useful gifts can help your loved ones to keep good health. Avoid gifting fat rich sweets made of pure ghee. That can have hazardous effect on heart and other organs of body. Instead go for some light snacks and fruit baskets.
Lighten up the hearts of your fellow beings and bring them a smile
Diwali is a festival to be celebrated with family and friends. Drinking on this day may land you into a hangover and serious problems while driving when you visit to meet your family and friends.
Treating Burn injuries
If you have got a burn injury, put water or hold it under running water for sometime. You can apply an antibiotic ointment if it is available. Cover the affected part with sofratulle gauze for protection and consult a doctor without delay.
If you do not have ointments, you can also keep a handful of grated potato over the burnt area. That will result in healing without major scars.
Avoid rubbing or rinsing the eye. Do not put ant ointment or drops. That may deteriorate the condition.
If there are any accidents, crisis or serious situation, contact the emergency services immediately. Your prompt action can save someone’s life !
Looking at so many health issues of just one day, don’t you feel that we can avoid all these side effects of Diwali by bringing a little change in the way we celebrate this greatest festival of our country. Lets get to know how we can do this:
Restrain the use of Crackers and Explosives
Cracker is a short term joy with long term explosion. Abstain from the use of firecrackers and shift to safer alternatives like laser displays.
Save your Precious money
Rather than putting your hard earned money to buy something which is just going to turn into garbage in a day, put your money for a better and moral cause.
This Diwali, Give your Life a True meaning by making it pure and worthwhile!
A light that can take away darkness from the lives having hard fight
Your little gesture of helping a poor child to read and study by donating your books to them can bring him a joy of lifetime.
A light that can shun away the darkness of this night
Buy Gifts for Poor
Nothing can match the joy of gifting food, clothes and shelter to underprivileged people on the occasion of Diwali!
Combined little efforts of all of us can make this Diwali a special one. Lets start by taking a pledge to celebrate a cracker free eco -friendly Diwali this time. Our little steps in this direction will enrich our lives with a safer and healthier Diwali for years to come.
Lighten up this Diwali not with firecrackers, but only with a light.
Wish you all a very Happy Diwali!
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