accessibility & help

First Aid Advice for Halloween and Bonfire Night

31 October 2013

A pumpkin with a carved face

For further information contact:
Henry Makiwa 020 7877 7479 / 
On call mobile: 0771 0391703


With Halloween and Bonfire Night just around the corner, we can be sure of three things; hundreds of bonfires will be blazing across the country; thousands of fireworks will explode and sadly, several people will find themselves with a burn injury.

Each year in the UK hundreds of firework and burn-related accidents are recorded during the four-week period around Halloween. According to surveys, many of the injuries are suffered by young people aged under the age of 18. [1]

Joe Mulligan, head of first aid, said: “The first few minutes after any accident are critical. The correct first aid care can speed recovery, reduce pain or even – in extreme cases – save a life.”

“Burns are the most common type of injury at this time of year, for obvious reasons – but the best way to avoid them is to be prepared. Ensure you keep your family safe, know the firework code and brush up on your first aid skills in case of an emergency.
Ordinary household objects can be just as useful in an emergency if you do not have access to a first aid kit,” he explained.

Here are our simple tips:
• To treat all burns, you should place the affected area under cold water for at least ten minutes. However, a cold beer or soft drink will do the trick if water is not available.
• Never put butter or oil on a burn as this will only make the injury worse, and could cause further pain when it has to be removed later on.
• Fingers that have been burned can quickly swell, so be sure to remove all jewellery to prevent restricted blood flow – or having to have your favourite ring cut off!
• Incorrect treatment of burns can lead damaged skin and scarring. The best thing to do after cooling is to cover the injury with cling film to reduce the chance of infection. Call an ambulance if necessary.
• Reassure anyone who has been burned, especially young children, as it can be a traumatic experience. Knowing basic first aid skills will help you to remain calm.
• Ensure you seek medical advice if you are unsure about the seriousness of the burn. All children should receive hospital treatment immediately.

The British Red Cross last month updated its Baby and Child smartphone and tablet app which is free to download on Apple’s iTunes store and the Google Play marketplace. The app is designed to equip parents, guardians and carers of babies and young children with simple and easy to learn first aid skills.

The Red Cross also offers a free online educational resource called Everyday First Aid on the charity’s website.


Notes to editors
•          For interviews, photography, case studies or more information, please contact Anna MacSwan on  0207 877 7519   or 0207 877 7557
•          For more easy to follow first aid advice visit or download the free Red Cross first aid app

We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
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 [1] Rospa survey:

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