Bonfire night weekend: Advice on burns is sought every 21 seconds, NHS warns

The number of people looking for advice on burns from the NHS soars during bonfire night weekend, the health service has warned - as it urged people to "take great care around fireworks".

NHS England said someone visits the burns and scalds advice on its website every 21 seconds during the weekend of the celebration.

Its data shows the section gets an average of 8,208 visits during the two days.

The site is visited 3,241 times per day during the rest of the year, based on figures from 2021 and 2022.

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) guidelines state adults should set up firework displays, anyone involved should avoid alcohol, and children and young people should be supervised at all times.

It also advises the safest place to enjoy fireworks is at a large public display, as the risk of being injured is much lower than at smaller parties.

Dame Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said: "While bonfire night is a great opportunity to celebrate with friends and family, we want everyone to enjoy it safely and so it remains vital to take great care around fireworks, fires and sparklers and to ensure that children are properly supervised at all times.

"We see a significant increase in visits to the burns page on the NHS website over the weekend of Bonfire Night and we'd encourage people to follow RoSPA's advice on firework safety to stay out of harm's way.

"The NHS website also offers information on the prevention and treatment of burns, as well as first aid measures, for anyone who needs it."

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NHS advice on treating burns and scalds includes:

• Getting the person away from the heat source immediately
• Removing any clothing or jewellery near the burnt skin
• Cooling the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 to 30 minutes, and not using iced water or any creams or greases like butter
• Keeping the person warm with blankets, not touching the burnt area
• Once the burn is cool, covering it with cling film or a clean plastic bag
• Using painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat any pain
• Raising the affected area to reduce any swelling

Phil Le Shirley, public safety adviser at RoSPA, said: "Bonfire night can be a magical time for families and communities, and we believe the safest way to enjoy fireworks is by going to an organised display where there will be the appropriate safety protocols in place.

"However, we do recognise that not everyone can attend organised displays and may wish to have their own at home. We therefore advise those people to only purchase fireworks from licensed sellers, follow the manufacturer's guidelines and dispose of them safely.

"It's also important to remember that sparklers are classed as fireworks and therefore are illegal to be sold to anyone under the age of 18, and that the law says sparklers should not be given to children under the age of five."