Over the coming months, many people will choose to celebrate with fireworks in their gardens, whether it’s for bonfire night, Diwali, New Year or Chinese New Year. However, fireworks can be dangerous. In 2014/15 4,506 people visited A&E departments in England due to injuries from fireworks. Even sparklers are hazardous, burning five times hotter than cooking oil. No matter how much you try to stay safe, accidents can happen, so it pays to be prepared.
- Have plenty of cold water available to cool the burn for at least 10 minutes. (Take care not to induce hypothermia if the burn is large, especially with regard to children or the elderly.)
- Remove any jewellery or loose clothing. Do not remove anything that is stuck to the skin.
- Dress the burn with a non-fluffy sterile dressing. Cling film is ideal – discard first 2 turns of the film and don’t wrap too tight as the area may continue to swell. Secure with a bandage.
- Alternative dressings include unused plastic bag, or specialised burns dressing.
Burns aren’t the only risk from fireworks. Research suggests around ten people in the UK lose their sight due to fireworks, with 300 eye injuries each year.