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02 Nov 2008
Eight-year-old Arya Dave was just a spectator watching from a distance

Eight-year-old Arya Dave was just a spectator watching from a distance when his brother was bursting crackers outside their residence in Bhoiwada, Parel on Diwali night. As crackers burst near him, a stray particle made way into his right eye and bled his eyes lids.

Yet, Dave as well as his parents thought it was a minor external injury and not a cause for concern till he told his parents the next morning that he could barely see anything. His father Shailesh rushed him to the KEM Hospital and later brought him to the Aditya Jyot Hospital at Wadala on Saturday evening. "I think every parent should be vigilant while the children are burning crackers and if possible convince them not to burst them at all," he said.

Head of department and consultant, cornea, cataract and refractive surgeon of the Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital Dr Vandana Jain said that Dave's case looked like one of mechanical injury and there was bleeding inside the eye. "Though the blood is resolving, it seems the external force could have moved the eye lens," she added. There was no risk to his vision, she said.

The same hospital had already treated two cases of minor injuries wherein splinters had burnt the cornea of both the patients.

However things were rather severe in a similar case of Jagatbandhu Tripathi, 8 whose right eye got affected while watching and not burning crackers. He sustained grade IV burn injuries and the outer surface of the eye was completely damaged due to the heat.

He was rushed to the Sion Hospital but doctors said his eyes would require several corrective surgeries before he regains his normal vision. "His vision is damaged to quite some extent though he is doing slightly better now," said his father Krishnagupta.

This Diwali, though doctors suggested that casualties were much less in number as compared to last year. Barring few minor cases, grave injuries were not many. "It is undeniable that people have learnt to be more careful and alert," said Dr Anand Shroff, glaucoma expert, Shroff eye institute, Marine Lines. "Of all the crackers, rockets are known to cause the maximum number of burn injuries and people have realised that," he added.

Authored By: Sumitra Deb Roy