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Lohri is celebrated with much fervour in northern parts of India on January 13. The harvest festival instantly reminds everyone about popcorn, gajjak, and bonfires. The sacred fire is lit to symbolise the sun, bringing warmth. It also brings together people who gather around the fire, sing songs and make merry. But you need to exercise caution when celebrating near a fire for safe Lohri celebrations. We’re saying this because it might be dangerous and harmful to stand too close to the fire. Here we’ll discuss the fire risks that you should be careful of.
In an interview with HealthShots, Dr Sanggita Checker, Consultant Chest Physician, Wockhardt Hospitals Mira Road, Mumbai, spoke about the side effects of being too close to the fire, especially Lohri puja.
Dr Checker says, “People celebrate Lohri by burning wood. But everyone wants to make sure they are not standing too close to the fire. Doing so can cause several unnecessary health concerns.”
Risks of standing too close to the fire during Lohri celebrations
Here are 5 fire risks that can result if you’re close to the bonfire:
1. Skin burns
Several people assemble near the fire during the Lohri puja. If you’re too close, it can also result in skin burns, leaving your skin red, blotchy, and white. Even blisters can develop, and at first, you might even experience discomfort. “Make sure you stand at a good enough distance to avoid getting accidental skin burns from the Lohri fire,” says Dr Checker.
2. Smoke inhalation
Emissions from wood smoke during bonfires have been linked to heart attacks, asthma attacks and even coughing fits. In addition to these serious adverse effects, it can harm your lungs. Your lungs may get inflamed and irritated from fire smoke, which increases the risk of lung infections. Avoid standing or sitting too close to the bonfire all winter long, not only during the Lohri fire.
3. Heat exposure
Avoid getting too close to the fire since it might make you feel overheated and suffocated by raising your body temperature. As a result, you can have symptoms like shortness of breath, damp, and pale skin, as well as feelings of exhaustion, and weakness. One of the worst conditions that could happen is heat stroke.
4. Burning sensation in eyes
Fine particles, often known as PM2.5 or fine particulate matter, are present in fire smoke. These particles have the potential to irritate and burn your eyes. This may further cause redness and tearing up.
5. Clothes can catch fire
When working with fire, cotton clothing is the best choice since it does not melt and keeps us safe. Dr Checker says, “It soaks up oil spatter and has high absorbency. Wearing synthetic fibre is not advised since it can melt when heated, adhere to our bodies when they catch fire and cause more damage.”
Any of these conditions may occur quite suddenly. So, make sure you’re taking precautions and not going very close to the fire. And wish you a very Happy Lohri from the team of Health Shots!