By Pamela Prentice, Campaigns Manager at the Child Accident Prevention Trust
The risk of serious injury from fireworks is higher than ever this year as professionally organised displays have been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
With no big Bonfire Night displays to go to, it’s feared parents will feel under pressure to hold fireworks parties at home instead.
For many, this will be the first time they’ve ever done so - and inexperience could lead to more accidents.
Another worry for 2020 is where the powerful category 4 fireworks intended for the cancelled organised displays will end up.
There’s concerns they’ll be sold illegally to unsuspecting consumers via pop-up shops and online marketplaces.
With many people short of cash, they could be tempted to buy heavily-discounted professional fireworks, lighting them in back gardens without the technical knowledge and space required.
This Bonfire Night, the Child Accident Prevention Trust is raising awareness of these dangers.
We’re encouraging parents to consider safe alternative activities to DIY fireworks displays, such as apple bobbing and firework-themed crafts.
Safety advice is also available for those who decide to go ahead with fireworks parties - including which fireworks to buy and how to keep children safe.
However, it’s important for families to be aware that, even if they’re very careful, fireworks can be unpredictable.
To illustrate this, we’re sharing the story of Maisie Roe.She was four years-old when a rocket fired horizontally rather than vertically. The firework was caught in Maisie’s clothing, causing nasty burns to her face and neck.
Thankfully Maisie recovered - but the scars remain.
Mum Stephanie said: “I wanted to tell Maisie’s story so if anyone is considering having fireworks at home they think again. I wouldn’t want another family to have to go through what we have.
“When I think how relatively minor her burns were and how much pain she’s been through, it’s terrifying.”
Fireworks safety - free content to read and share
You can help us spread the word about the dangers of fireworks and prevent children like Maisie suffering firework-related injuries this Bonfire Night.
We have lots of free resources available, including downloadable information about alternatives to firework displays and practical safety advice.
There are also ready-made social media posts for Twitter and Facebook you can share with your followers.
You can find out more about the campaign and get involved at: www.capt.org.uk/fireworks-essential-facts.