First aid advice for Bonfire Night celebrations

St John Ambulance has issued advice ahead of Bonfire Night celebrations
St John Ambulance has issued advice ahead of Bonfire Night celebrations

St John Ambulance has issued first aid advice for people across Lancashire, ahead of this year’s Bonfire Night celebrations.

Volunteers will be attending almost 100 firework events across the North West, so anyone who needs first aid gets it quickly.

But they say injuries are much more likely to occur at private parties, where trained volunteers won’t be on hand to help.

Every year, about 1,000 people will visit A&E for treatment of a firework-related injury in the four weeks around November 5.

Ben Savage, regional events manager said: “St John Ambulance is keen that people enjoy Bonfire Night but don’t end their celebrations in hospital.

“Our volunteers will be on hand to provide expert first aid assistance at public displays across the region but if you are organising a private event, you need to know what to do if there is a first aid emergency.

“For example, if someone suffers a burn injury, it’s important to take immediate action to prevent them from going into shock or suffering long-term damage.

“The most common injuries that our volunteers are required to treat at Bonfire Night gatherings are burns, e.g. from fireworks, fire or sparklers; debris in the eye from bonfires and fireworks and smoke inhalation.”

Firework first aid:

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.

• If the burn is on a child, or if you think it’s a serious burn (for example, if it’s deep, larger than the size of their hand, or on the face, hands or feet) call 999 or 112 for an ambulance.

• Remove any jewellery or clothing near the burn (unless they’re stuck to it)

• Don’t pop any blisters or apply creams – this can make it worse.

• Once cooled, cover the burn with cling film or a plastic bag.

• If necessary, treat them for shock, by laying them down with their legs raised and supported above the level of their heart.

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 to wash out what’s in there and/or 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.

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 or 112 for an ambulance.