This year, my children ‘get’ bonfire night. We live near a huge park which always has an amazing firework display set to BIG theme tunes (think Star Wars and E.T.) In previous years, my kids have either been too little, too ill or too scared (my little girl anyway) to head to the ‘big’ bonfire night display. Chris Munson is one person with mixed feelings about Bonfire Night. Chris is a Dad and also a plastic surgeon who will be on duty over the Bonfire Night festivities so you see my point. We asked Chris about Bonfire Night and how to keep our little ones safe. Chris – do you like Bonfire Night personally? As a plastic surgeon, I look at bonfire night with mixed emotions. As a Dad to two, I love to see my children’s faces watching the fireworks and a roaring fire. Most celebrations pass without incident, but for those few exceptions the outcome can be devastating. What is it like working on Bonfire Night? The wonderful staff at the burns unit where I work, approach it with guarded anticipation. I have known Halloween and Bonfire night to be quiet, but unfortunately some of the most devastating burns can happen from fireworks and bonfires. Basically fire, heat and children can be a bad combination if we don’t take care. Scald injuries in children happen all year round, due to accidents with hot drinks - still a risk at this time of year if our attention wanders away from that freshly made cup of tea. Then there is the bonfire itself, stray fireworks and the dreaded burnt out sparkler which can cause nasty injuries to little hands, faces or worse. What would your advice be to parents? Accident prevention comes first and foremost. If an accident does happen, following these simple steps can make all the difference:
  • Remove the burning source. Sounds obvious, but easily forgotten.
  • Cool the burnt area. Run affected area under cool (not cold) water from a tap / shower for 20 mins.
  • Cover the burn with clingfilm. Nothing more, nothing less. No lotions and potions.
  • Keep warm. What? After all that cooling, you now want me to warm my child up? Children can lose body heat very quickly, so keep your child (not the burnt area) warm on your way to A&E.
  • Act quickly – the sooner a medical professional can start treatment the better.
Anything you’d like to add Chris? Have fun and in the nicest way possible, I hope not to meet anyone in a professional capacity over the fireworks celebrations! Good advice. Have fun at your bonfire (I will as long as no one gets ill) and may the force be with you….