February 23, 2024

The Department of Health warned against the use of watusi as new cases related to fireworks involved a four-year-old boy who accidentally swallowed the firecracker at home.

In its latest case bulletin, the DOH noted that most children often mistake watusi for candy due to its size and color.

The boy is one of the 13 new fireworks-related injuries the DOH has recorded as of 6 a.m. of Dec. 28.

Watusi is deadly. Watusi contains yellow phosphorus, potassium chlorate, potassium nitrate, and trinitrotoluene,” the DOH said.

“Ingestion will lead to death. Bring the patient to the emergency room ASAP. Do not buy or allow any watusi to be at your home.”

If watusi is swallowed, the DOH advises to not induce vomiting. Children may be given six to eight raw egg whites while adults may be given eight to 12 raw egg whites before bringing them to the nearest hospital emergency room.

If caught in the eye, the patient is advised to immediately wash with clean water for at least 15 minutes, keeping eyelids open then seek immediate medical assistance.

If skin is affected, the affected areas must be immediately washed with plenty of clean water. Remove contaminated clothing.

The patient must breathe in clean and fresh air if watusi is inhaled. They must be kept comfortable until urgent medical assistance is given.

The new fireworks-related cases were mostly males, ranging from five to 49 years old. Twelve of these new cases occurred at home and in the streets. Only five 42 percent were due to illegal fireworks.

Since the DOH started surveillance of fireworks-related injuries on Dec. 21, it has recorded a total of 88 cases nationwide.

The top identified fireworks that caused 68 percent of the injuries are boga, 5-star, kwitis, piccolo, pla-pla, whistle bomb, and luces. – PNA