MANILA, Philippines – At least 155 people have been injured by firecrackers and stray bullets nationwide since December 21 amid the holiday revelry, a Department of Health (DOH) official said Monday.
Firecrackers injured 145 people, 6 were hit by stray bullets, while 4 ingested toxic substances, DOH official Dr. Eric Tayag said.
Of all the firecrackers available in the market, Tayag warned against the “Piccolo” type, which appears to be popular among children.
Nearly half of the victims were children aged 1- 10. Almost half were also injured by Piccolo firecrackers.
Piccolo blast injuries have resulted in 13 fingers being amputated, Tayag said.
He added that the DOH is working with authorities to rid the market of such firecrackers as the number of injuries is expected to rise in the coming days.
"Ang inaalerto namin eh mahuli agad ang nagbebenta ng Piccolo para makumpiska, at boga," Tayag said.
The “boga,” a gun-like improvised explosive device, has also made a comeback in the market and is just as dangerous, the DOH warned.
At the Jose Memorial Medical Hospital, a 2-year-old girl was among 20 patients being treated because of injuries caused by a “5-star” firecracker.
There were 15 fireracker-related injuries at the East Avenue Medical Centre.
A 1-year-old boy ingested a “Pop Pop” firecracker, which is similar to the Piccolo firecracker.
Another 1-year-old baby girl was injured when a "triangulo" exploded next to her.
At the Tondo General Hospital, there were 3 injuries, including 11-year-old Bobby Chugani who was injured when a Piccolo exploded in his hand, leaving his thumb bloodied but still intact.
Chugani said has learned his lesson. "Huwag na sila magpaputok, para di matulad sa akin."
Tayag says people injured by firecrackers should immediately wash the wound with soap and water. "Para mahinto ang pagkasunog kapag naputukan, at dalhin agad sa ospital dahil bumabaon ang pulbura."
For those with nearly severed fingers, Tayag said victims should be brought to a hospital immediately. "Baka kailangang putulin or else baka mauwi sa gangrene."
Parents were also advised to pay close attention to children who vomit if they had been playing near firecrackers, as they may have ingested toxic substances.
Tayag told parents to immediately feed the victim 5 egg whites to line the throat and stomach. "Baka may nakaing pulbura. Pakainin agad ng limang puti ng itlog para ang nasubong pulbura ay hindi na kumapit sa lalamunan at di mabutas ang bituka."