Diwali is here, and it brings with it the sweet aromas of mithais, the sight of fresh flowers adorning doorways, and the loud noise of firecrackers. Although times have changed traditions continue with, of course, a modern twist. Sugar-free mithais are in demand, colourful fairy lights are replacing flower decorations, and green firecrackers are gaining more and more popularity. Increasing concerns about health, safety, and the environment at large are why people these days are opting for alternatives. Especially when it comes to firecrackers, the pollution it causes and the health problems it creates lasts long after the festival is over.
If you’re pregnant, you’re probably going to avoid bursting crackers yourself, but you may be wondering about whether the crackers themselves pose any threats. Let’s find out!
- Air pollution: The air surrounding us is generally very polluted even on regular days. However, during Diwali, it gets worse. When pregnant women have increased exposure to air pollution, it may lead to an increased risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, poor placental growth, heart problems in the baby, etc.
- Smoke: The fumes from the fireworks and crackers emit harmful substances, including chemicals, metals, etc. into the air. These can trigger severe allergies in pregnant women. If you are asthmatic, then it is advisable to steer clear of all crackers as they can induce a bad episode of breathlessness.
- Risk of fire: Certain firecrackers like flowerpots, chakri, rocket, etc. tend to burst without warning. Pregnant women should stay away from these types of crackers as running to safety during an explosion will put you and your baby at risk. Also, you must take utmost care while lighting crackers as a small spark can start an uncontrollable flame, especially if you are wearing clothes made of synthetic fabric. Do remember, treating burns in pregnant women is trickier.
- Noise: The loud sound made by firecrackers can be disturbing for the sensitive eardrums of mommy-to-be. Also, the noise of these crackers can startle you and disturb your little one too.
While it can be fun to watch the fireworks in the night sky, make your health and your baby’s wellbeing a priority. Follow these simple steps to limit your exposure to crackers and fumes:
- Instead of firecrackers, celebrate with diyas and lanterns this year. The flickering dance of diyas is as pretty a view as the fireworks and free of any harmful fumes.
- It’s best to keep your doors and windows closed during peak times of festivity. Late evening to early morning the air pollution will be at the highest level.
- Wear a mask if you are stepping out, even if it’s just your building lobby. Not only is it helpful in safeguarding you against Coronavirus, but it also protects you from the pollutants in the air.
- Stay indoors as much as possible even after Diwali is over as the air pollution level will still be on the higher side. If you must travel for work, then make sure you keep the windows of your car closed.
Taking these precautions will help you protect yourself and your baby as you enjoy the festival of lights. If you feel any discomfort, breathlessness, vomiting, headache, or dizziness during the festivities, inform your doctor right away. We wish you a happy and healthy Diwali celebration!