In the Philippines, accidents, rank fourth among the causes of death in all ages.
Executive Order (EO) No. 28 confines firecracker use to community displays, "to minimize the risk of injuries and casualties. On the average, 960 firecracker-related injuries occur each year. This translates to ₱590-million in public funds used annually, for hospitalization and treatment of victims. Sixty percent of injuries happen in the National Capital Region, with nearly half of the victims are 15 years- old and below. Unwanted second noise has harmful effects as well. Fireworks can be loud and can exceed 140 decibels. Noise at 85 decibels above can damage hearing. Increase in the sound levels can lead to restlessness, temporary or permanent hearing loss, high blood pressure, and sleep disturbance. Fireworks can also cause respiratory problems such as: chronic or allergic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, sinusitis, rhinitis, pneumonia and laryngitis.
In 2016, the Health Department reported over 630 firecracker-related injuries-with 29 percent of those injured coming from the 10-14 year old age group.
A systematic review of 35 years of published and unpublished data on injuries in the Philippines (1960–1995) was conducted. Injury fatality rates increased by 196% from 14.3 per 100,000 in 1960 to 42.3 per 100,000 in 1995, and one in 11 deaths in the Philippines are due to injuries.
Intentional injuries account for 48% of all injury deaths and motor vehicle crashes for 15%. For 15–44 year old males, injuries account for 42% of all deaths, 67% of which are intentional. The proportion of all deaths attributable to intentional injuries has increased by 925% and that of motor vehicle crashes by 600% from 1960 to 1995. Improvements in injury surveillance and documentation of non-fatal injury outcomes are needed.
Tradition states to make noise during the New Year to ward off evil spirits, but keep in mind that it's not only firecrackers that can scare these off. You can crank up the volume of your favorite jam, and blast music through your speakers. Use the familiar Filipino torotot or trumpet, as these come cheap. You can also do makeshift noisemakers with household items. Continuous and unsupervised use of firecrackers increases risk of injury. People who have incurred firecracker injuries have ended up losing fingers and limbs. Start the new year with a bang, without getting banged up. Keep safe!