How to have a super-safe bonfire night!

NEAS advice on avoiding injury from fireworks and bonfires

Although more and more people are attending organised firework events where there is less chance of injury, there is no room for complacency.

If you are injured by a firework:

*Cool the area immediately with cold water and continue to do so for at least 10 minutes

* Do not put anything onto the affected area such as butter, ointments, or cotton wool.

*Use a clean, wet dressing. If you do not have a dressing use a clean handkerchief, tea towel, pillowcase or sheet, etc. soaked in cold water

* If a blister forms, do not break it.

* If the area affected is larger than the size of the patient's palm or the patient is displaying signs of shock, then seek urgent medical advice.

* If the burn is to the facial area, call 999.

A spokesperson, from the North East Ambulance Service, said: "Each year we receive calls for firework and bonfire-related calls. Our advice is that you need to keep a safe distance from bonfires and attend organised events."

"Publicly organised firework displays are the safest as they are in a controlled environment, and run by people who follow strict instructions. It is advisable to attend these where possible.

"Everyone wants to enjoy this time of the year so try and make it as safe as possible."

To enjoy your fireworks in safety, there are a number of sensible precautions that can be taken:

* Don't drink alcohol if setting off fireworks

* Stand well back and keep others back

* Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them

* Never go back to a lit firework

* Always supervise children

* Keep pets indoors

* Sparkers are unsuitable for children under five

* Put used sparklers hot end down into a bucket of sand or water

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Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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