Almost 4,500 people in England were injured by fireworks in 2017-18
Bonfire Night has long been a tradition where families and friends gather to watch fireworks light up the sky, but the public must take care this weekend and remember the risks that could lead to serious injury.
According to NHS Digital, almost 4,500 people in England attended A&E in 2017-18 because of an injury caused by a firework.
The majority of injuries - which include burns, scarring and irreversible damage to the eye - occur at private parties but there is still a risk of injury at public displays.
In the lead up to Bonfire Night, one of Thompsons’ serious injury specialists, Christalla Christodoulidou, shares some of her top tips for people to stay safe.
Keep a safe distance from the fireworks
“Bonfire Night is an exciting occasion for people of all ages, but even more so for young children who sometimes cannot resist the temptation to get close to the display,” said Christalla.
“Where fireworks are concerned, common sense is key – most adults know what happens when we play with fire, but children may not. It’s vital that parents keep a close eye on their kids this weekend to make sure they keep a safe distance from the displays and don’t put themselves at risk of getting burned. Even fireworks bought in reputable supermarkets, which have been subject to regulation and testing have the potential to malfunction, so think two steps ahead and take a few steps back from the displays.”
Beware of the dangers of sparklers
“Burns to the hands and face are some of the most common Bonfire Night injuries, with sparklers being a major cause.
“Don’t assume that sparklers are a safer alternative to fireworks and won’t cause harm. When lit, sparklers can reach high temperatures and they take a long time to cool down. It’s important to wear the right kind of gloves when holding them and to put them in a bucket of water afterwards to avoid someone coming into contact with the burnt end or hot handle.”
"Where fireworks are concerned, common sense is key – most adults know what happens when we play with fire, but children may not. It’s vital that parents keep a close eye on their kids this weekend to make sure they keep a safe distance from the displays and don’t put themselves at risk of getting burned."
Keep pets indoors
“The majority of pets become distressed during firework displays as they’re not used to loud noises and bright lights in the sky.
“Keeping them inside for the duration of the evening is a good way of making sure they stay safe and don’t run frightened across roads into traffic where they could cause an accident. As well as limiting how scared they get, this also means that there is no chance of them running near a firework display, which could cause injury to the animal and anyone who tries to rescue it.”
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