AS FAMILIES celebrate Diwali and Bonfire Night with a bang, St John Ambulance has shared some life-saving advice for those adding a bit of sparkle to their celebrations this year.
Firework filled festivities are often great fun for adults and children, but they can be prone to accidents and injuries.
Over the next few weeks almost a thousand trained St John Ambulance volunteers will be supporting at over 140 Diwali and Bonfire Night events across the country.
St John Ambulance’s medical director, Dr Lynn Thomas, said: “If you’re celebrating over the next few weeks for Diwali and Bonfire Night by lighting candles, sparklers, fireworks or even bonfires, please enjoy yourself, but do so safely.
“Our volunteers will be out and about at events in your community, but it’s always worth brushing up on your fire-related first aid knowledge so you’re prepared just in case something does go wrong.
“It’s not just our pets that fireworks can sometimes upset – it can affect everyone differently, especially those suffering from mental health conditions.”
Firework First Aid
*Burns or scalds
Move the person away from the heat and danger
Start cooling the injury as soon as possible. Place the burn or scald under cool water for 20 minutes minimum
If the burn is deep, or larger than the person’s hand, on their face, hands or feet, or the casualty is a child – call 999 immediately
Remove jewellery and clothing around the area, unless stuck to the burn
Cover the burn loosely, lengthways with kitchen film wrap to help prevent infection and keep it clean
Don’t burst blisters
Monitor and treat for shock if necessary
Always seek further medical help if you are concerned about a change in someone’s condition, or if the casualty is a child. Call 111 for urgent medical advice, or 999 in an emergency.
* Debris in the eye
Tell them not to rub it
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, however as not every hospital has an eye department, ring 111 to locate the most appropriate facility to go to.
* Smoke inhalation
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 for an ambulance.