MANILA, Philippines – The government has been calling on the public to ditch fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices for safer noise-maker alternatives to avoid any injuries during the celebration of the holidays.
However, there are some people who just can’t help themselves from setting those firecrackers off so UNTV’s Lifesaver program has prepared first-aid tips on how to treat burns and injuries related to the use of fireworks.
Lifesaver program host, UNTV News and Rescue Manager Benedict Galazan, said there are different first aid treatments for different types of fireworks accidents.
He, however, stressed that these are only temporary measures as victims should be immediately rushed to the nearest hospital.
Here are the first-aid tips:
- For first degree burns, the burned or injured area should be washed under cool running water for 10 to 15 minutes to ease the pain and remove traces of chemical powder.
- Cover the burned area using a clean cloth and, if necessary, immediately bring the victim to the hospital.
First-degree burns are considered mild and result in pain and reddening of the skin.
- For second degree burns, run cool water on the wound for 10 to 15 minutes to stop the bleeding and ease the pain.
- Cover the wound with a clean cloth or plastic wrap then bring the victim to the nearest hospital.
Second-degree burns affect the epidermis and lower layer of the skin and may cause pain, redness, and blistering.
When blistering occurs, the swollen area of the skin should not be popped.
“‘Yung mga blister o paltos ay huwag puputukin. Kasi iyan po ang pinaka-defense mechanism ng katawan ‘yan na kapag may heat na naramdaman ang katawan, magpo-produce siya ng liquid para ‘yun din ang makatulong sa pagcool-down ng burn,” Galazan said.
- For third-degree burns, run the wound on cool water for 10 to 15 minutes to stop the bleeding and ease the pain.
- Carefully put pressure on the injured area to control the bleeding.
- Do NOT apply toothpaste, cream or any oil-based ointment to the wound or burn.
- Cover the injured area with a clean cloth or plastic wrap then bring the victim to the hospital.
Third-degree burns affect the dermis and deeper skin tissues and may result in white or blackened, charred skin that may be numb.
- For injured fingers, hands and other limbs, Lifesaver advises to run the injured part under cool water. Do NOT use ice.
- If the fingers are still intact, run it as well on cool water.
- If some fingers or other body parts are dismembered or lost, apply pressure using a tourniquet or any device (bandage and stick, rope or belt) to a limb or extremity to limit – but not stop – the flow of blood.
- Also, try to look for the dismembered finger, and wrap them in a clean cloth. Place them inside a sealed plastic bag and put it in ice.
- Bring the victim and the dismembered body part to the nearest hospital.
Dismembered limbs need to be brought with the victim to the hospital as these may still be reattached through surgery.
- For eye injuries, flush the affected eye with cool water to remove any traces of firecracker powder.
- Do NOT scratch or touch the injured eye.
- If it is bleeding, use gauze or a paper cup to cover and protect the injured eye. Be careful not to put pressure on the eye.
- Bring the patient to the nearest hospital
For ingestion or firecracker or its powder, here are the first aid tips:
- Let the patient drink raw egg whites. Health experts recommend six to eight egg whites to a child and eight to 12 to an adult.
- The patient should not attempt to throw up the ingested firecracker to prevent further damage.
- Bring the victim to the nearest hospital.
Remember, if the wound is larger than the size of the palm of the hand, immediately bring the victim to the nearest hospital or call emergency medical services such as 8-911-UNTV.
Watch the episode of Lifesaver below for more first aid tips on firecracker burns:
– RRD (Correspondent Harlene Delgado contributed to this report)
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