A Nested Case-Control Study Among Elementary Students in A Public School on Firecracker Use During the New Year Celebration – Philippines, 2012

Author (s): 

Alethea R. De Guzman, MD, MCHM, VC. De los Reyes, MN. Sucaldito, E. Tayag

Background: The Department of Health (DOH) fireworks injury surveillance showed that children 6 years -10 years remained the most affected age-group, accounting for 274 (28%) injuries and 2 (50%) deaths last year. To reduce child morbidity and mortality from fireworks, a survey was conducted to determine prevalence of firecracker use among the target population and their family and identify appropriate and effective campaign slogan for 2012. Methods: A survey was conducted among Grade 1-5 students to determine fireworks usage of respondents and their family members, reason/s for use/non-use, knowledge on DOH fireworks injury prevention program and preferred communication line. Using the results, a nested case-control study was done. Case was a respondent who used fireworks and controls those who did not use them. Data was analyzed using Epi Info. Results: There were 703 respondents. Fifty-four percent were males, ages ranged from 5 years–14 years. Three hundred thirty-six (48%) used fireworks and used it for merriment (128, 42%) and due to influence of other users (26, 8%) who were mostly family members. Reasons for non-use were fear of injury (173, 52%) and non-permission by parents (67, 20%). The tagline “Avoid Using Fireworks” and image of a bloody, severely injured hand were most common choices for communication line. Case-control study showed that cases were 5x more likely to have someone in the family who also used fireworks (p-value = 0.00000, 95% CI = 3.452-7.6069) than controls. Conclusions: The 2012 communication line should focus on stopping fireworks use among children and increasing awareness on fireworks safety and responsibility amongst parents. The campaign should include alternative means of merriment while also emphasizing the negative effects of fireworks use. Key Words: Fireworks injury surveillance, “Iwas Paputok” (“Avoid Fireworks Use), nested case-control, campaign slogan 

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