#childsafety | How you can keep children and teenagers safe this Bonfire Night


Tonight and throughout the weekend the skies across the North East will come alive with bright colours, big bangs and lots of fizzes – all of which will fascinate youngsters.

But Bonfire Night is one of the busiest for fire and rescue services, with hundreds of accidents each year occurring across the UK related to fireworks, with lots involving children.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) warned parents to always supervise fireworks, bonfires and sparklers, and advised that children should be taught young about how to stay safe over Guy Fawkes.

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Fireworks night can also be a opportunity for your older children and teens to visit displays with friends, sometimes without close adult supervision, making firework safety a essential topic to bring up before they leave the house.

So whether you are heading out to see organised display, or letting fireworks off at your own home, there’s some essential safety messages from the CAPT which you should be repeating to your little fire crackers.

Sparklers

  • Always wear your gloves when you hold your sparkler and keep it away from your body.
  • It’s not a good idea to hold more than one sparkler at once.

  • Keep your sparkler safely away from other people and don’t run around with it.

  • Don’t throw your sparkler in case it hits someone.

  • Once your sparkler is finished, put it into a bucket of water, don’t pick it back up. It stays hot for a long time and can burn you.


Fireworks

  • Never touch a firework and don’t pick up a firework after it has been used.

  • Stand well away from the bonfire and fireworks and stay close to the grown-ups.

  • Do not run around the bonfire, and if it does get too smoky move away calmly

  • Don’t be tempted to throw things into the bonfire or poke at it with sticks.

  • If you’re going to a firework display, hold hands with your grown-up and stay with them all the time.

  • Do not put a firework in your pocket or allow anyone else to put a firework on your person.

It is also important that children do not attend any firework displays in fancy dress, due to many costumes not meeting fire safety standards – meaning they could be flammable.

It’s also a good idea to teach children about Stop, Drop and Roll – which could prove lifesaving.

The advice from the CAPT is not to panic if you catch your clothes on a flame, but instead:

  • STOP what you are doing.
  • DROP to the ground and cover your face with your hands.
  • ROLL over and over to put out the flames.

Parents should also make sure that any fireworks in the home are kept in a closed and secure box, well out of reach of children and that alcohol should not be consumed if you are responsible for fireworks.

When making a bonfire, choose a safe spot where children will not be playing, and always make sure any viewing areas for children are in a safe distance from the fireworks.

It is also a good idea for babies and nervous children to wear ear defenders for any fire work displays. Anxiety can make children panic, and that could lead to them running and causing a accident. Babies have sensitive hearing, and the loud noises could cause them distress.

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