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Staying Safe on Bonfire Night

red and purple fireworks in the sky

Bonfire night is a great night for all the family, watching fireworks can be great fun. But it is important to always take care, especially as children are more likely to get hurt by fireworks than adults. There are many simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of your family. According to a study over 550 children under 16 are taken to A&E in the 4 weeks surrounding bonfire night and more boys are injured than girls, especially between the ages of 12 to 15.

Steps you can take

Babies and children can wriggle and reach out, you should avoid holding a baby or child if you have a sparkler in your hand.

Avoid giving children under 5 a sparkler to hold, as they don’t really understand why they might be dangerous.

Make sure you give children gloves to wear if they are going to be holding a sparkler, sparklers can reach up to temperatures of 2000 degrees. Be sure to have a bucket of water handy, and teach children never to wave them near anyone else or run with them.

Hosting your own event

If you want to be extra safe on bonfire night, take your family to a local organised event. If you are holding your own, or going to a friends event, take a look at some tips below:

  • Take a torch rather than a naked flame to read the firework instructions
  • Make sure to light your firework at arms length, light it with a firework lighter or taper
  • Store other fireworks in a metal box until they are ready to be used
  • Never throw fireworks on a bonfire, even if they’ve been used
  • Children will need guidance and supervision, create a barrier such as a rope for the children to stand behind
  • Avoid drinking alcohol until the fireworks are over, this will help avoid any silly mistakes
  • Some fireworks can take a long time to get started, so once its lit don’t go back to it
  • At least 18 metres (60 ft) is the safest place for a bonfire away from any building

Reminders in an emergency

  • Remember – Stop, drop and roll if your clothing catches fire
  • If anyone is burnt – cool immediately with cold water and keep the burn running under water for at least 10 minutes
  • Unless the burn is very small – go to hospital or get medical attention
  • Don’t touch or pull any clothing that might be stuck to a burn
  • Get advice from the A&E departments, your local doctor or call the NHS for advice on 111
  • Always get medical advice for any burns larger than a postage stamp

Most of all – make sure you enjoy yourself!

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