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BANGALORE, INDIA, November 18, 2001: Despite media publicity on safe ways to celebrate the Festival of Lights, a substantial number of casualties have occurred in Bangalore during Deepavali this year, city doctors say. Half-a-dozen hospitals in the city indicate that so far about 30 cases of burn injuries have been treated, with all but 3 serious cases being discharged after being given first aid. Most of the victims are children, says Dr. Shankarappa, Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery and Burns at the Victoria Hospital. "The most common source of injuries this time is misuse of rockets," says Dr. Shankarappa, by launching them at an angle rather than straight up. There are three other dangerous practices which need to be put down with a firm hand, the doctors feel: First, the practice of collecting unexploded or half-burnt firecrackers into a pile and igniting them. Second, holding lighted flowerpots ("fountains" in USA terminology) with hands and waving them around to make a dazzling display -- quite often these flowerpots explode. Third, bursting crackers in metal containers. This has the effect of a bursting grenade, This scatters shrapnel in a 360-degree radius, causing potentially fatal splinter injuries. "All these practices should be curbed," says Dr. Shankarappa. His suggestions for the safety of the public during future Deepavali celebrations: First, children should not be allowed to play with fireworks unsupervised by adults. Second, crackers are to be lit by adults and watched and enjoyed by children. Third, not to wear clothing made of synthetic material during the Deepavali festival.