Firework safety and burns.

With all the celebrations of Bonfire night. Statistics show that 500 families will remember tonight for the wrong reasons from either child being burnt or injured from fires or firework displays.

The vast majority of injuries are to the eyes, head or hands – so children will have visible scars for life.

Most injuries happen at private or family displays;

Rocket, air bomb, and sparkler incidents are the most common;

Many more boys than girls are injured by fireworks – especially boys aged 12 to 15 years.

Sparklers are often seen as a relatively harmless way of allowing very young children to participate in the thrill of fireworks night – THIS IS NOT TRUE – a sparkler can reach temperatures of 20 times the boiling point of water.

Never give sparklers to children under the age of five. Make sure that older children wear gloves, hold the sparkler at arm's length and ALWAYS have a bucket of water nearby to put the used sparklers in – hot end down.

What to do in case of a burn.

You can make a real difference to a person’s chances of recovering by remembering to “Cool, Call and Cover” – these are the three steps recommended for the initial management of a burn injury.

1. Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing around the burn area and jewelry (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound)

Cooling the burn wound with cold water for 20 minutes immediately, or at least within three hours of injury, is the most important factor in reducing the severity of burn wounds. Cooling reduces swelling and the depth of injury, provides pain relief, cleans the wound and improves healing. This prevents deepening of the burn wound and will result in a more superficial burn that heals with less scarring.

Any jewelry surrounding the burn should be removed as this can restrict blood flow to the site of the injury. Any clothing surrounding the burn and nappies should also be removed as early as possible as they can retain heat.

2. Call for help

You can call the NHS 111 service for initial advice on treating burns. They will also be able to tell you where to go if the burn needs medical attention. You can also call your local GP. In an emergency, call 999.

3. Cover the burn with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm.

Once you have cooled the burn (step 1), apply loose strips of cling film over the wound and seek medical help as necessary.

Only the burn area should be cooled and all attempts should be made to keep the injured person warm.

By remembering to Cool, Call and Cover you can be a burns hero by giving the right initial first aid to someone who has suffered a burn – even if it's yourself.


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