The Department of Health today reported a total of 50 fireworks-related injuries from 21 December 2020 to 1 January 2021 with no cases of firework ingestion nor death reported. Of the 50 injuries, 49 were fireworks-related injuries and 1 was a stray bullet injury. This is 85% lower than the 340 total cases reported last year. Likewise, the number of cases this year is 89% lower than the five-year average (2015-2019).

Of the total cases nationwide, the National Capital Region (NCR) reported the highest number (22 cases), followed by Region IV-A (5 cases), and Regions I, V, and VI (4 cases each). In NCR, Manila had the most number of injuries (12 cases), followed by Caloocan (4 cases), Pasig and Quezon City (2 cases each), and Malabon and Marikina (1 case each). Overall, NCR registered an 88% decrease in the number of injuries compared to the previous year.

Ages of injuries ranged from four to fifty three (4-53) years old wherein the most affected age group is between 10 to 14 years old. Majority of the injuries were males (71%) and mostly with passive involvement. Most injuries occurred equally in the streets and inside homes (49% each), while 1 injury happened in a neighbor’s house.

The top anatomical sites of injuries were the eye (33%), hand (24%), forearm/arm (16%), head (12%) and neck (10%). Majority of the injuries were blast injuries not requiring amputation (67%), while 2% were blast injuries requiring amputation.

Top fireworks causing injuries were Kwitis (29%), Boga (8%), 5-Star (8%), Fountain (8%) and Triangle (8%). Legal fireworks caused 55% of all injuries while illegal fireworks at 37%. Let us be reminded that fireworks, whether legal or illegal, are still dangerous not only to our safety but also to the environment.

The significant reduction in the total number of recorded cases may be attributed to the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting people’s willingness and ability to celebrate through the use of fireworks. It may also be attributed to the strengthened initiatives of our local government units in banning firecrackers and the efforts of the national government agencies and stakeholders through the Iwas Paputok campaign.

“The lower numbers we achieved this year is a welcome development, but we will not stop until we achieve zero firework related injuries and ensure that the next holidays will be safer for every Filipino,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque said.

“We have also observed that there was a change of behavior of Filipinos towards health. Due to the pandemic, the Filipinos became more aware and involved in ensuring health and safety of their family and community. This decrease is also the success of all the families who follow the government’s prescribed protocols and instill good values to their children. We shall continue to create healthier and safer communities,” Sec. Duque added.

The Health Secretary also reminded those who have incurred injuries due to fireworks to immediately consult their nearest health facility for proper wound care and management and to avoid fatal complications like tetanus. “Our hospitals and health facilities, and their respective medical staff shall continue to provide medical care to fireworks-related injuries,” the Secretary said.