2 more babies hit by 'crackers' in Philippines NY celebrations

2 more babies hit by 'crackers' in Philippines NY celebrations

Two one-year-old girls were rushed to the Cebu City Medical Center for firecracker burns in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2014. Baby Anisah was treated for burns in her feet, while Baby Liberty suffered burns in her arms and neck. Both were hit by wayward firecrackers at the height of the New Year revelry.

Most vulnerable

They were among 97 cases of firecracker-related injuries in Central Visayas recorded by the Department of Health in Region 7 from December 16 last year to January 2, 2014.

The number was an increase of 18 percent from the same period last year, said Rennan Cimafranca,head of DOH's Regional Epidiemology Surveillance Unit (Resu).

The victims' ages ranged from 1 to 65 years old or an average of 11 years.

Most of the victims or 81 percent were male.

Most of the accidents or 68 percent took place in their homes while 32 percent occured in the streets.

"People should be responsible with how to use firecrackers and where to use them. See? Even those who were just at home got injured too," Cimafranca said.

The DOH 7 identified piccolo, kwitis, spirate, sparklers, hotdog, flying tiger, thick long, triangle, whistle bomb, watusi, lantaka, fountain, and onga-onga as the noisemakers that caused injuries.

The increasing trend of injuries over Christmas and the New Year was also true for bystanders getting hurt.

Of those injured, 40 percent were bystanders or those who did not light the firecracker. Last year, 30 percent of those injured were not direct participants.

The DOH recorded firecracker-related injuries such as burns, amputation, eye injury and watusi ingestion.

Two persons were hit by stray bullets, a 65-year-old man in Mandaue City and a 36-year-old man in Sudlon II, Cebu City.

Most cases of firecracker injuries were recorded in urban areas - Cebu City with 83 and Lapu-Lapu City with 18.

In Cebu, 16 suffered from eye injuries while there were only two in Bohol and one in Negros Oriental.

Cebu also recorded the highest number of burns in Central Visayas, with 64, compared to four in Bohol and only one in Negros Oriental.

Six people had parts of their bodies amputated in Cebu and one in Negros Oriental.

The most serious injury was that of a 36-year-old man from Medellin town, north Cebu who lost his left arm after holding a bundle of kwitis. There were no injuries reported in Siquijor.

This year one person ingested watusi, which is poisonous.

Gunshots

Victims of stray bullets were reported in Mandaue City and Cebu city's mountain barangay of Sudlon II.

One potential victim was Citom's Rafael Yap.

Chief Supt. Danilo Constantino, PRO 7 chief, said the lawyer discovered a slug of an unknown firearm had entered his bedroom in Juan Luna Street, barangay Mabolo in Cebu City.

Two other stray bullets were earlier reported in Argao and Ormoc City.

Preliminary data from the DOH National Epidemiology Center on Wednesday showed a rise of 29 percent in firecracker related and stray bullet injuries from December 21, 2013, up to 6 a.m. on January 1. There were 30 cases of stray bullet injuries reported nationwide.

Children were the most vulnerable victims of the New Year's Eve "big bang".

A 3-month-old baby was killed after being hit by a stray bullet in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur province.

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