As you prepare for bonfire celebrations on Guy Fawkes Night tonight, remember that it is important to put your own safety first. Every year around 5th of November, approximately 1000 people visit accident and emergency (A&E) departments with firework-related injuries. The most common injuries reported during Bonfire Night are scalds, burns, debris from the fireworks in the eye, and smoke inhalation. Hence, we are providing some first aid guides that might prove to be of some use!
- Burns or scalds
If someone’s got a burn or scald:
- Run it under cold water for at least 10 minutes – You need to completely cool their skin to prevent pain, scarring or further damage.
- Call 999/112 for an ambulance – If the burn is on a child, or if you think it’s a serious burn (the burn is deep and larger than the size of their hand, or on their face, hands or feet), don’t hesitate!
- Remove any jewellery or clothing near the burn (unless they’re stuck to it) – Cut off the excess clothing by the burn if it is stuck to the skin.
- Do NOT pop any blisters or apply creams – this can make it worse as blisters actually keep the underlying skin clean and prevents infection.
- Once cooled, cover the burn with cling film or a plastic bag – Cover but do NOT wrap around the limb.
- If necessary, treat them for shock – Lay the person down with their legs raised and supported above the level of their heart
- Debris in the eye
If someone’s got something in their eye:
- Tell them not to rub it, so they don’t make it worse
- Pour clean water over their eye – this helps to wash out what’s in there and to cool the burn.
- If this doesn’t work, try to lift the debris out with a damp corner of a clean tissue
- If this doesn’t work, either, don’t touch anything that’s stuck in their eye – cover it with a clean dressing or non-fluffy material
- Then take or send them straight to hospital
- Smoke inhalation
If someone’s inhaled smoke fumes:
- Move them away from the smoke so they can breathe in some fresh air
- Help them sit down in a comfortable position and loosen any tight clothing around their neck to help them breathe normally
- If they don’t recover quickly, call 999/112 for an ambulance.