Diwali is the time for family, fun, and frolic. Bursting crackers is a significant part of the celebration. This results in Pollution level at its peak during the festivities. Heavy metals like potassium chlorate, sulfur, arsenic sulfite, aluminum, and copper are spread abundantly in the air post-Diwali.
Fireworks cannot be identified as a direct cause of allergy. The resulting  high levels of residual particulate matter (RPM) and suspended particulate matter (SPM) emanating from firecrackers cause allergy-like symptoms in many people, even if they aren’t sure what to call their condition. These  cause a sudden spurt in health complaints mainly skin problems. 
The resultant air pollution triggers a train of allergies and their hazardous impact. Therefore the first and foremost precaution is to be preparing adequately for it. People with allergies and conditions which worsen on exposure to the concentration of fumes should try to avoid coming in contact with firecrackers.

Do you encounter watery eyes,tongue swelling or skin problems during Diwali ? Here are four ways how you can have fun while being safe.

Fireworks- Handle with care!untitled-design-3

Crackers have many chemical components like a mixture of charcoal, sulfur,  potassium nitrate, or smokeless powder such as cellulose nitrate. In addition, fireworks contain substances that give off bright, colorful light when heated.They emit a lot of pollutants in the air and these can be troublesome for those who have different types of allergies triggered by various chemical emitted from bursting of firecrackers.Due to the increase in pollutant levels, symptoms like eye burns, running nose, skin allergy,and skin rashes are often seen.The most common pollutant released from firecrackers nitrogen oxide trigger skin irritations, eye problems and respiratory problems in children. If you or any family members are allergic to any component, you might develop rashes, itching or swelling. Contact a doctor as soon as possible.

 

mens-shirt-524022_960_720Cotton clothes are a must while around fireworks as opposed to nylon/ synthetic materials.

Always wear comfortable footwear and avoid loose flowing clothes.Always wear cotton clothes that fit close to your body.Do not wear nylon or synthetic fabrics while lighting crackers as they easily catch fire and worsen any burn injury. Keep a bucket of water or a water hose attached to a tap handy while bursting crackers. Better safe than to be sorry. Also bursting crackers in an open place prevents accidents. Do not use bottles or tins to support crackers. Keep a safe distance from fireworks. Protective eye gear prevents entry of particles into the eye and irritation by fumes

 

first-aidBurns/injuries due to fireworks need immediate attention and first aid.
Firework injuries see an alarming increase every year. Some storage units which have caught fire have lead to loss of property and life.Prevention and precaution are always better than cure.Hence a first aid kit should be at hand .
Different types of injuries can be -Soft tissue burns (from flare/fountains, ground spinners, sparklers, gunpowder), Soft tissue disruption and bony injuries ( from string bombs, rockets) also eye injuries and loss of hearing.
In the case of  burns, wash  with cool (not cold/ice) running tap water for 5- 10 minutes and if necessary rush the person to a hospital.
Always wash your hands and feet thoroughly after lighting the crackers as the firework material can be toxic (ingested or absorbed through the skin) and bad for your health.

Emergency? no worries consult specialist doctors on phone at EFGH

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skin-and-hairSkin and hair care during Diwali.

The festival season witnesses a lot of skin and hair related problems.Skin becomes sagged, dry and dull due to exhaustion, pollution, and diet. Therefore don’t forget to moisturize your skin.Fried foods promote breakouts and dull skin, it is better to  limit the intake though better avoided.
Hydration takes priority amidst the hustle bustle of the festival. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day. Drinking water clear up your skin and gives a healthy glow. Pollution and smoke from crackers can irritate your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. Cover your face with a cotton cloth while watching or burning crackers and keep a safe distance.Cleanse your face after you are done. Tie your hair during bursting crackers to avoid accidental combustion.

 

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 This article is curated by Dr Lakshmi Shastry ,BDS, Bangalore, 2 yrs experience.