Pregnant women would need to take precautions during this Diwali
New Delhi: Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated widely across the country, is a time for joy, pomp and gaiety. However, it is also the time when pollution levels across national capital hit the peak, making asthma patients more prone to attacks, besides causing an increase in cases of respiratory disorders like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and allergic rhinitis.
Apart from patients with respiratory disorders, infants, children, elderly and pregnant women also are vulnerable to adverse health effects due to bursting of fire crackers. Even an apparently normal person can also develop symptoms.
"The expectant mothers' exposure to smoke and pollution from the firecrackers has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes, including premature birth, low birth weight, abnormal birth length and head circumference, and small size for gestational age. Children's developing lungs are the most susceptible to injury because they breathe in faster, are more active, spend more time outdoors, and have immune systems that are still developing," said Dr Shobha Gupta, Medical Director from a private IVF center.
Dr Gupta also added, "For pregnant woman, it is very significant to know that what you inhale goes into your blood stream and affects the foetus. As we all know that the smoke emitted by firecrackers is not exactly what you need to inhale. From the 6th to 12th week, your baby's organs are formed. So, it is better to avoid the pollutants caused by firecrackers."
"Diwali means bursting of loud and noisy crackers. Exposure to such fireworks and noisy crackers is not at all good for your newborn as fireworks can be really loud, going up to 160 decibels, whereas a newborn's hearing can get damaged by sounds that are more than 85 decibels. Put a pair of soft ear muffs and cover your baby's ear with it to prevent some noise pollution at least" added Dr Anubha Singh.
Moreover, people suffering from asthma and other respiratory disorders should completely avoid areas and functions where crackers will be burst.
When burnt, crackers emit harmful pollutants such as toxic metals, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and sulphur dioxide, which, along with the smoke in the air, can trigger an asthma attack in both children and adults, expert added.