Whilst Fireworks night can be a very exciting time for children, especially for those under the age of five, it can also be a very dangerous time for them.
Over 550 children under the age of 16 are taken to an Accident and Emergency Department in the four weeks surrounding bonfire night alone and over the past 5 years, 350 pre-school children were treated in hospital for firework related injuries.
Did you know that sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil?
Children under the age of five are too young to hold a sparkler safely and won’t understand the dangers involved. Therefore the guidance is that children under the age of five are not given sparklers at all. Older children should always wear protective gloves when handling them.
You should also keep an eye out for babies and toddlers reaching out and for this reason you shouldn’t use sparklers when you are near them or stand too near to fireworks or bonfires.
When the sparkler has gone out they are still hot and the advice from the London Fire Brigade is that they should be put in a bucket of water after use.
When watching a fireworks display with children always watch and enjoy them from a safe distance. Do not take very young children near a bonfire and supervise children at all times.
Fireworks should always be kept in a closed box and away from children.
When taking young babies or toddlers to a display you should also be minded that loud noises above 80 dB can affect the development of their hearing and fireworks register at 140dB. Earmuffs can effectively reduce dangerous levels of noise however, earplugs should not be used as these can damage the sensitive ear canal of a baby or young child and can also become a choking hazard.
So make sure you wrap up warm, stay safe and enjoy the fireworks.