As winter approaches there are many festivities to look forward to which feature fireworks such as Halloween, Bonfire Night, Diwali, New Year and Chinese New Year.
Its important that we enjoy the celebrations in a fun and risk-free manner.
around 1,000 people visit A&E with a firework related injury in the four weeks around November 5th alone
many more use home first aid or visit a GP with injuries sustained as part of the celebrations
We have put together this information to ensure you and your loved ones stet safe.
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The most common injuries are burns, debris in the eye from the bonfire or from fireworks and smoke inhalation as well as sprains and strains from tripping in the dark.
Therefore it makes sense to stock up beforehand with the following:
* well-equipped first aid kit
* bucket of sand to put out fireworks safely, easy access to plenty of water and a fire blanket
* sterile saline to irrigate eyes if sparks are blown into them.
If someone is burnt and the affected area is larger than the size of the casualty’s hand, neck, head, face, chest or genitals you should phone for an ambulance immediately.
Hold the affected area under cold, running water for at least 15 minutes or until cool. #CoolCoolCool
Special care should be taken if the burn is on a young child or an elderly person. All deep burns of any size will require urgent hospital treatment.
Once the burn has been cooled (don’t forget for at least 15 minutes - #CoolCoolCool) it can be covered with cling film, a burns dressing or if the burn is on a hand, it can be inserted into a sterile plastic bag (never rush to dress it - cooling it is much more important!)
All burns should be assessed by medical professionals.
If your clothing is on fire
Remember STOP, DROP, WRAP and ROLL
Stop the person whose clothing is on fire from panicking or running – any movement or breeze will fan the flames causing them to spread.
Drop the casualty to the ground
Wrap them in a blanket, coat, or rug.
Ensure they are made from inflammable fabrics such as wool.
Roll the casualty along the ground until the flames have been smothered.
If needed, treat any burns - #CoolCoolCool
A severe burn exposes the casualty to a greater risk of infection, hypothermia and shock.
Dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance
Start cooling the burn immediately under cool running water. Use a shower or hose if the burns are large. Keep cooling the burn while waiting for professional help to arrive. #CoolCoolCool
The area should be cooled for at least 15 minutes.
Ensure you are cooling the burn and not the casualty – keep the casualty as warm and dry as possible.
Make the casualty as comfortable as possible, if showing signs of shock, lie them down and elevate their legs.
Whilst cooling, remove any constricting items (the area may swell), such as jewellery or clothing, from the affected area unless they are stuck to the burn. Wear sterile disposable gloves if they are available.
* touch the burn
* use lotions, ointments and creams
* use adhesive dressings
* pop or puncture blisters
If someone’s inhaled smoke fumes and it is causing difficulty breathing:
* Move them away from the smoke so they can breathe fresh air.
* Help them sit down in a comfortable position and loosen any tight clothing around their neck to help them breathe normally.
* Assist them in taking their asthma medication if indicated.
* If they don’t recover quickly, call 999/112 for an ambulance.
It is possible for debris and sparks from the fireworks to land in the eye and cause extreme discomfort. Always wash your hands thoroughly or wear sterile gloves before touching the affected area.
Open the casualty’s eye and look carefully.
If there is anything embedded in the eye, cover both eyes and phone for an ambulance.
If you can see an object moving freely in the eye, use sterile eyewash and gently irrigate the eye to remove it.
Seek medical advice if the casualty is still in pain or discomfort.
It is strongly advised that everyone attends a practical or online first aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.