New Years’ Eve is one of those rare moments in the year when almost everyone on the planet celebrates both the beginning and end of something special. Generally, of course, this comes with the explosion of a few fireworks. Last July, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission published a report about any and all recorded fireworks-related injuries or deaths in 2010.
According to the study, fireworks sent approximately 8,600 people to an emergency room that year. Approximately 65% were male, 35% were female, and 40% were children. 17% of the reported injuries came from illegal fireworks while another 53% came from unspecified fireworks (most likely with firecrackers they weren’t supposed to be using). The most commonly injuried parts of the body in 2010 were hands and fingers as a result of burns or lacerations. And yes, at least three people were said to have died from injuries related to a fireworks celebration.
In the Philippines, health officials have decided to be proactive about minimizing fireworks injuries. Except that they’ve set their goals fairly high for next year. No more fireworks injuries next year at all. Zero.
How, you ask? Easy. By insisting (ahem, ‘campaigning’) that citizens get a 5 minute and 20 second ‘Goodbye Paputok’ CD, which plays some of the loudest and most exciting sounds of the traditional fireworks celebration. Paputok is the Filipino word for ‘explosion’ or ‘firework’ and the ‘Goodbye’ CD is a national attempt to end all serious injuries. Unfortunately for many, this would mean converting from the physical experience of watching fireworks to simply hearing them through headphones on an mp3 player (sort of). As the 12th most populous nation in the world, the Philippines may not have the injury numbers of the United States, but they certainly have made an attempt at minimizing the danger of fireworks within their borders.
Whether you choose to light, watch or listen to fireworks this year, the Brace Shop would like to extend the best wishes for a safe and Happy New Year to you and your family.
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