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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 843-846

Spectrum of ocular firework injuries in children: A 5-year retrospective study during a festive season in Southern India

Department of Ophthalmology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepa John
Department of Ophthalmology, Christian Medical College, Schell Eye Hospital, Arni Road, Vellore - 632 001, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0301-4738.171966

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Purpose: Ocular trauma is a major cause of acquired monocular blindness in children. Firework injuries account for 20% of ocular trauma. The purpose of our study was to document the profile of ocular firework injuries in children during the festive season of Diwali and to determine the prevalence of unilateral blindness in them. Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart analysis of ocular firework injury in children during the festival of Diwali from 2009 to 2013, conducted in a tertiary care eye center in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. Children below 18 years of age with ocular firework injuries who presented to the emergency department for 3 consecutive days - the day of Diwali, 1 day before, and 1 day after Diwali - were included in this study. Results: Eighty-four children presented with firework-related ocular injuries during the study period. Male to female ratio was 4:1 with mean age 9.48 ± 4 years. Forty-four percentage required hospitalization. The prevalence of unilateral blindness in children due to fireworks was found to be 8% (95% confidence interval - 2-13%). Conclusion: Vision 2020 gives high priority to avoidable blindness, especially in children. In our study, for every 12 children who presented with firecracker injury, one resulted in unilateral blindness. This is an avoidable cause of blindness. Awareness needs to be created, and changes in policy regarding sales and handling of firecrackers including mandatory use of  protective eyewear should be considered.

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