The director of the Robert Reid Cabral Children’s Hospital, Dr. Emilio Mena Castro, has joined other physicians who want the government to strengthen the ban on fireworks. He says that fireworks should only handled by trained professionals. Castro’s opinion seconds comments made earlier this week by Dr. Hector Maceo Quezada, head of the Dario Contreras Hospital. Dr. Quezada has called for tighter controls on fireworks and on alcohol sales. Public Health Minister Bautista Rojas, speaking in the Listin Diario, said that there should be increased controls on fireworks and added that parents of children who are burned by explosives should be brought to trial. Rojas said there is already legislation ready to control the sale and distribution of fireworks.
Three children who were severely burned after playing with fireworks in Santiago during the holiday season are now in stable condition. The children suffered facial and hand burns and one child has potential hearing damage due to the explosives. Santiago Arturo Grullon Children’s Hospital officials say that the children could be released sometime next week though doctors say that it could take up to one year for them to heal from their injuries.