Top fireworks and Halloween accidents and first aid advice

Here’s London Mums’ very own guide to keeping little ones safe at Halloween and Bonfire Night. This time of year is full of exciting night-time activities such as Halloween and Bonfire Night. However, overexcited children, bonfires and fireworks can be a dangerous mix. Happily our top tips will ensure you keep you and your family safe and make sure you can have a memorable night for all the right reasons.

Top fireworks and Halloween accidents and first aid advice

Halloween

Not everyone likes Halloween. Children can find it frightening and unsettling, older people often find it a disturbing time of year and some people with Autism find it harrowing. Be sensitive to other people and only ever visit people actively participating, indicated by the presence of a pumpkin or other Halloween decorations.

Peak trick or treating times are between 5.30pm and 9.30pm. If you have little ones head out early at dusk so you can be safely home before older revellers are out and about.

Make sure the children have eaten something nourishing before they start consuming sweets. This will also help prevent a spike in blood sugar.

 

Costume caution

Masks can restrict a child’s vision. Try non-toxic face paint instead but remove thoroughly before bed.

Ensure costumes fit well and don’t pose a trip hazard. Long capes can be stepped on by others and could choke the wearer. Costumes with dangly elements can pose a fire risk.

Fancy dress costumes are not subject to the usual flame-resistant regulations and many are extremely flammable. Be extremely careful to avoid naked flames.

Fancy dress costumes are usually neither warm nor waterproof. Wear warm clothes underneath and ensure you do not to get too cold. Take a waterproof in case it rains.

 

Visibility 

Take a torch or flashlight. Add reflective tape to your child’s outfit so your children can be clearly seen by motorists and cyclists. Or wear glowing wristbands or necklaces.

 

Sweet safety

Check any sweets or drinks before you let your child consume them. Discard unwrapped ones. If your child has a nut allergy screen all the sweets yourself.

Remember that hard sweets, popcorn, chewing gum can be a choking risk to excited children. Don’t let your child run with sweets in their mouths. Lollies have been known to go right through the child’s hard palate if they fall on them.

Carry the child’s sweet stash for them. A child who drops a sweet in the middle of the road may not think twice about bending down to pick it up.

 

Road rules

Always hold little one’s hands and be prepared in case they panic and run if something scares them. Don’t criss-cross the road when visiting houses. Do one side of the road and then the other.

Supervise your children and regroup after each visit and make sure you stay together. Ask an adult to be in charge of doing a quick headcount.

 

Halloween don’ts

Halloween breaks the usual parenting guidance and turns ‘Stranger Danger’ rules on their head. This is the night we encourage children to accept sweets from people they don’t know and to open the door to strangers.

Remind children they shouldn’t go with anyone they don’t know. They shouldn’t get into anyone’s car they don’t know. And should never enter a strangers house.

Advise them not to visit houses that are not well lit or that do not have the lit pumpkin.

 

If you are going to welcome children trick or treating at your door

Make sure your doorway is well lit. Ensure sure there are no naked lights or flames around. Clear away trip hazards such as children’s play equipment.

If you have small children, they can be terrified by a stream of scary people coming to their door so consider limiting the number of times you answer the door, or remove the battery from the bell to limit noise.

Pets can also find the doorbell ringing and the commotion on the doorstep very unsettling, so limit their exposure to the noise and offer lots of reassurance.

Similarly, make sure your pet is secure and doesn’t run at or scare children at your door.

 

Bonfire and fireworks 

The most common injuries on Bonfire Night are burns, debris in the eye from the bonfire or from fireworks, smoke causing breathing issues and people slipping and tripping in the dark.

 

Stock up with:

  • a well-equipped first aid kit
  • a bucket of sand to put out fireworks safely, easy access to plenty of water and a fire blanket
  • some sterile saline to irrigate eyes if sparks are blown into them.

 

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is at an organised, regulated display. If you are having a firework display in your home follow the Fireworks Code.

Many young children are scared by the loud bangs of fireworks. Consider wearing ear defenders or watching the displays from the safety of indoors.

Be aware breathing issues, such as asthma, might be triggered by the smoke.

 

 

Sparklers 

Sparklers can be lots of fun, however they can get up to six times as hot as a pan of cooking oil. Children under 5 years old should not be allowed to use sparklers and children older than this should be supervised at all times.

Never run with sparklers and make sure you don’t wave them too close to others.

Hold the sparklers horizontally as far away from your face and body as possible, and away from others. You should always wear gloves.

Spent sparklers should be put in a bucket of cold water or sand.

 

Minor burns 

If affected area is larger than the size of the casualty’s hand, you should phone for an ambulance immediately.

Hold the affected area under cold, running water for at least 10 minutes.

Special care should be taken if the burn is on a young child or an elderly person.

Once the burn has been cooled 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.

Get all burns assessed by medical professionals.

 

Eye injuries 

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.

Follow these guidelines to ensure safe family fun. Happy Halloween and Bonfire Night to everyone.

 

It is strongly advised that everyone attends a practical or online first aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

 

By Emma Hammett of First Aid for Life

 

First Aid for Life is an award-winning, fully regulated First Aid Training business. Our trainers are highly experienced medical, health and emergency services professionals who will tailor the training to your needs.

 

Onlinefirstaid.com is the leading provider of interactive online first aid courses – an ideal way to refresh your regulated training or easily access this vital training as and when it suits you.

 

First Aid for Life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

 

About Emma Hammett

First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. The best way to be prepared for action in an emergency is to attend a practical First Aid course. First Aid for Life runs courses with numerous schools and clubs and provides scheduled courses suitable for young people to attend. We also love running bespoke courses for groups of friends and are happy to tailor them for specific requirements such as post exam trips away, GAP years and sports qualifications. Please contact [email protected], www.firstaidforlife.org.uk or call 0208 675 4036. For more information please visit: www.firstaidforlife.org.uk or contact [email protected] 0208 675 4036

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