New Year revelry brings suffering to unsuspecting kids

A seven-year-old girl in Caloocan City just wanted to see some fireworks on New Year's eve. Instead, she ended up with a bullet in her head. Dr. Emmanuel Bueno, medical specialist III at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City, said the child was just playing outside her home in Caloocan City on New Year's eve when she was suddenly hit by a stray bullet in the head. "Yung bata ay naglalaro sa labas. Nanonood daw ng fireworks at after that hindi rin naman nakita ng magulang yung nangyari. Nakita na lang nila na mayroon nang sugat," Bueno said on Tuesday. Bueno explained that doctors cannot yet remove the bullet, which had penetrated the left side of her brain. "Hindi pa po maoperahan ang bata dahil wala pong maidudulot na maganda ang operahan siya sa ngayon," he said, adding that her situation remains critical. "Mahirap po magsabi ng numero kasi baka po magkamali tayo. [Basta] the situation is very critical, naka-respirator po ang bata," he said. The child's parents refused to speak on the shooting. This seven-year old victim is just one of the many unsuspecting children who were injured in the New Year revelry nationwide. "In terms of yung mga bata, yung number is essentially 50/50. Kalahati ang [sa kanila ay] passive meaning yung mga nanonood lamang at mga kalahati din yun ang nagpapaputok," Health Sec. Enrique Ona said in a press conference on Tuesday. According to the DOH chief, more than 50 percent of those injured were children below the age of 10 years. He specifically pointed out that of the 413 people reported injured so far, 29 percent or 116 came from the six to 10 years old age-group. Of the 72 fireworks victims treated at the East Avenue Medical Center alone, 26 were aged zero to 10 years old while 23 were aged 11 to 20 years old. Among those with the worst injuries were the said girl from Caloocan and a 17-year-old adolescent, whose right arm had to be amputated as it was too mutilated by the so-called firecracker "Goodbye Philippines." "Pagdaan daw nila sa kalsada may naghagis daw ng paputok,ngayon dinampot naman ng anak ko. Pinakamalaki raw ang paputok na yun. Ngayon dinampot niya tsaka sumabog," the teenager's mother said in an interview with GMA News. Another victim is a ten-year-old boy who was unsuspectingly playing with his bother outside their house in Taytay, Rizal on New Year's Day. The boy sustained superficial to partial thickness burns after his 11-year-old brother gathered a pile of green "watusi" and lit it. "Sinindihan niya bigla hindi ko alam," he said, while crying from the pain caused by the burns on his face, arms, and legs. A twelve-year-old girl likewise thought she was safe when she went outside their house in East Fairview in Quezon City on New Year's Day, thinking that the festivities were over. "Bumaba kami kasi huminto na sila [magpaputok], nagpaputok na lang sila ng Luces, eh nung naubos Luces nila, nagsindi ulit [sila].,Sumigaw na ako. Sabi ko sa mga bata:

hala ayan na sumindi na, pasok na. Eh, hindi pala sumunod ito," her mother told GMA News Online on Tuesday. The girl sustained a wound beside her right eye and is awaiting the results of her medical examination. Asked if she was scared that she may have lost her eyesight for good, she remained silent and said she will never go out on New Year's eve ever again. "Di na ako lalabas," she said. Ona said that it was "worrying" because 13 percent or 51 fireworks victims incurred eye injuries. "Yang eye injury, it can be very serious. At the moment meron [din] kaming one case amputation of the hand. ,Those are very, very serious injuries that will have a lifelong and lifelasting disability...you can just imagine the extent of the disability," he said. This, he said, is the reason why it is important for parents to monitor and teach their children the dangers of fireworks. "Dito pinapakita how important it is na yung magpapaputok lalo na kung meron tayong identified na area are really di lamang mga adults at matured, kundi yung nakakaintindi at nakakaalam sa mga dangers nito. ,Wag na itong mga bata," he said. — DVM, GMA News

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