29 October 2009
All those flaming rockets, sparklers and fires sound like great fun – but as bonfire night approaches, make sure you stay safe and follow our basic first aid tips.
Each year, the UK records hundreds of firework and burn-related accidents during the four-week period around Halloween. According to surveys, many of the injuries are suffered by young people aged under 18 years.
And if things do go wrong, it’s crucial that those present should know what to do. 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.”
Fireworks first aid
Here are our simple BONFIRE tips:
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. 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 kitchen film to reduce the chance of infection. Call an ambulance if necessary.
Reassure anyone who has burned themselves, 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 or in any doubt about the seriousness of the burn. All children should receive hospital treatment immediately.
Equipped to respond
Last year, the Red Cross delivered first aid training to more than 150,000 people, equipping them with the necessary skills to respond safely when things go wrong.
Visit the Children First Aid website
Check out our first aid tips and videos
Read about the fun side of first aid with our blogs