St John Ambulance issues first aid advice ahead of Bonfire Night as it believes more people may attend private fireworks events this weekend
Remember, remember first aid in November.
That is the plea from medics at St John Ambulance, which says it expects more people to attend private Bonfire Night celebrations this year.
With some large scale fireworks displays either not taking place or people keen to avoid large crowds - alongside households who want to make up for the disruption caused by the pandemic last year - the first aid charity says it anticipates more families than in previous years taking up the invite to a private fireworks party or bonfire instead.
But with the absence of trained volunteers on hand to help, which would be the case at organised public displays, people are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with some basic fire-related first aid techniques before going to or holding any events involving either fireworks, sparklers or a bonfire.
Statistics show, says St John Ambulance, that thousands of people need to visit accident and emergency departments every year for treatment for a firework or bonfire-related injury.
But with some basic first aid skills and knowledge, says the organisation, everyone can be prepared to help in a firework first aid emergency which could ultimately save someone's life.
Dr Lynn Thomas, St John’s medical director, said: “Bonfire Night parties should be great fun and we want everyone to be able to enjoy their evening and the displays. Unfortunately, accidents can sometimes happen and, while our highly trained volunteers will be present at public events, people hosting their own parties would benefit from having a few simple first aid techniques to hand.
"For serious incidents we would always recommend dialling 999 but many minor issues can be easily dealt with at home."
Among the simple techniques St John Ambulance staff recommend people understand are those crucial first aid steps for dealing with burns and scalds.
They have also issued some advice for anyone who may get debris in their eyes which includes not touching or rubbing an injury that could make it worse, using clean cool water to wash out the eye, trying gentle attempts to lift any debris with the damp corner of a clean tissue and if that doesn't work, cover the eye with a clean dressing that is a non-fluffy material and seek medical advice.
For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, St John Ambulance says it also has an app, available free on smartphones and through its website, that also offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice.