Remember Remember the Fifth of November

St John Ambulance is reminding people to take extra care when attending or organising firework and bonfire displays. The charity, which will see thousands of volunteers on duty at bonfire celebrations throughout the country, has issued the following first aid advice for everyone to learn in case they spot someone suffering.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the most common injuries sustained on Bonfire Night are burns. These can be sustained by people not following firework guidelines carefully or by handling hot items such as burning sticks or sparklers. Injuries to the eye are also common, often caused when people look up at fireworks and ash or other debris falls into their eyes.

Here are St John Ambulance’s top tips on how to care for a friend, relative or stranger who may have a bad burn or sore eyes.


How to treat a minor burn or scald

  • Hold burn under cool running water for at least 10 minutes
  • Remove clothing or jewellery around the burn, unless stuck to the burn
  • Cover lengthways with cling film
  • Monitor casualty and seek medical advice.

How to treat severe burn

  • Hold burn under cool running water immediately
  • Call 999/112 for emergency help
  • Continue cooling the area for at least 10 minutes
  • Do not touch the burn
  • Remove any jewellery or clothing unless stuck to the burn
  • Cover loosely with cling film
  • A clean plastic bag or a sterile dressing can also be used
  • Monitor their level of response
  • Treat for shock if necessary.

Eye injuries – foreign object in eye

  • Tell them not to rub the eye 
  • If there’s something on the surface of the eye, wash it out by gently pouring clean water from the inner corner 
  • If this doesn’t work and the object is still in the eye, try to remove it with a moist piece of gauze 
  • If you still can’t remove the object, seek medical advice. 

For more first aid advice, including videos, or information about first aid courses visit call 08700 10 49 50.