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Diwali Safety


Although the chance of you having a serious accident may seem remote, hospitals and clinics are filled with people suffering from burn marks caused by firecrackers. Here are a few tips to help you have a safe Diwali.


Never burn firecrackers indoors

You would think one didn't need to be told this, but a surprising number of people, children and adults, get carried away during the festival and decide for some reason that they cannot wait to step outdoors and burn that phuljari, so they just light up indoors. And when a spark hits those curtains and their home is ablaze before they can say Shubh Deepawali, they wonder what went wrong. And next year, their neighbour will do the same thing! No firecrackers, not even snakes, should be burnt indoors. Make this a rule.


Clothing

Always wear cotton clothing on Diwali, and stay away from synthetic fabrics.


Purchase reputed brands

You may want to save some money by picking up cheap firecrackers as opposed to those made by reputed manufacturers. This is a classic case of being penny-wise pound-foolish, since cheap firecrackers often burst, causing injury. Spend all the money you saved and then some, on treating your burns.


Maintain your distance

Keep your entire arm extended when lighting firecrackers, maintaining as much distance between your face and the firecracker as possible. In the event that the firecracker bursts or lights up before you expect it to, at least your face and eyes will not suffer burns.


Never hold firecrackers when lighting them

Many children tend to light 'bombs' or other crackers while holding them, and then throw them up in the air. Children often emulate adults. So don't do this yourself, and teach your child to never light up when holding the cracker. Not only can the cracker burst in your child's hand, but when your child throws it he could miscalculate and hurt someone else.


Don't have fun at another's expense

Lighting a rocket horizontally and watching others shriek and get out of the way may seem like fun, but it can be very dangerous. Teach your children to never do this, and if you see neighbourhood children doing this, check them immediately and complain to their parents. Sure, it's a lot of fun to see someone startle, but stick to jumping out from a corner and yelling 'boo'.


Watch a display

It is safest to watch a fireworks display than it is to actually burn the crackers. Try and mobilize your neighbourhood to organize a fireworks display, as is the practice in other parts of the world. In keeping with the spirit of Diwali, you could light diyas in your home and perform a puja.


Discourage burning firecrackers

If all your child's friends are burning firecrackers, chances are, your child will feel left out if she is the only one without them. Try speaking to your child's teachers to discourage children in her class from burning firecrackers on Diwali. The children could do a project on the disadvantages of burning firecrackers, emphasizing on child labour, the diseases suffered by these children who make the firecrackers, their dismal working conditions, abuse, the tremendous air pollution, wastage of money, burns associated with Diwali and so on.



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