GUY Fawkes Night is an exciting time but revellers are being urged to follow safety instructions on fireworks and to take care around open fires.
Every year, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) paramedics are called to patients who have been injured during bonfire night, in particular seeing casualties with burn injuries from fireworks.
Lewis Andrews, EEAST Clinical Manager, said: “If you are having a firework display please ensure you have a well-stocked first aid kit close by to deal with any minor injuries. Minor burns can be red, painful and sometimes blister.”
He added: “If the burn appears larger than the patient’s hand it will require a medical assessment. Burns to young children or the elderly will also require a medical assessment and deep burns of any size will require urgent hospital treatment. Remember to cool the burn, but keep the patient warm.”
Seven tips for preventing damage to skin should you experience a burn:
Stop the burning process as soon as possible. This may mean removing the person from the area, dousing flames with water or smothering flames with a blanket. Do not put yourself at risk of getting burnt as well.
Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin. However, don’t try to remove anything that is stuck to the burnt skin because this could cause more damage.
Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm water for 10 to 30 minutes, ideally within 20 minutes of the injury occurring. Never use ice, iced water or any creams or greasy substances such as butter.
Keep yourself or the person warm. Use a blanket or layers of clothing, but avoid putting them on the injured area. Keeping warm will prevent hypothermia, where a person’s body temperature drops below 35ÂºC (95ÂºF). This is a risk if you are cooling a large burnt area, particularly in young children and elderly people.
Cover the burn with cling film. Put the cling film in a layer over the burn, rather than wrapping it around a limb. A clean clear plastic bag can be used for burns on your hand.
Treat the pain from a burn with paracetamol or ibuprofen. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions when using over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Children under 16 years of age should not be given aspirin.
If you are concerned seek medical advice by calling 111 or in emergencies call 999.
Eight tips for using fireworks safely:
Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time.
Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary.
Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
Sparklers remain very hot after use. Wear gloves and light them one at a time.