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How to Keep Children Safe on Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night is plenty of fun, but make sure you’re enjoying the festivities safely (Picture:

Bonfire night is once again upon us.

The night sky bursting into a rainbow of colours, with the whizz pop sounds of fireworks, the tantalizing smell of hot dogs and taste of toffee apples by a roaring bonfire, make it a hotly anticipated night for many kids.

But, while it is a great time to gather with friends and family and have some fun, it is important to make sure that Guy Fawkes night is one to remember for the right reasons and not the wrong.

So here are some top tips to ensure that your kids stay safe, at home or at an organised display.

Sparkler safety tips

A sparkler can reach temperatures of 20 times the boiling point of water, so it is important that children wear gloves, hold the sparkler at arm’s length, away from faces, clothes and other people, and always have a bucket of water or sand nearby to put used sparklers in – hot end down.

Sparklers are not safe for children under 5 years, so a grown-up should always handle them. Glow sticks and necklaces or battery-operated light up toys are great alternatives for younger children.

How to keep kids safe around fireworks

It is recommended that you avoid fireworks at home, however, if you do wish to put on your own display, do make sure that you stick to the Fireworks Code:

Buy fireworks marked BS 7114 onlyNever drink alcohol when responsible for fireworksKeep fireworks in a closed and secured box – out of the reach of childrenFollow the individual firework instructions carefullyUse a taper, and light fireworks from arm’s lengthEnforce your own viewing area and stand well backNever return to a lit firework, even if it hasn’t firedNever put fireworks in your pocket, or allow others to, or throw themAlways supervise children, ensuring that they are in a safe viewing area

Supervise children at all times when fireworks are involved (Picture: Getty Images)

Bonfire safety tips

Minimise smoke by only burning dry material – small children panic easily and smoke can cause them to dash about near the flamesEnsure the bonfire is well away from other flammable objects such as fences, overhanging trees, sheds, or where children will be playingClearly mark out the border of the bonfire with stones or bricksStand far back at a safe distance from the fire with your child – Never leave a child unsupervised near the fireAlways light the bonfire carefully. Petrol, paraffin or sprits should never be poured directly onto a fire. Use fire lighters to prevent sudden flare-upsAs with sparkler safety, keep buckets of water near to hand, or a connected hosepipe.Children should never attempt to help an adult light a bonfire. Bonfires can be extremely dangerous, therefore a child should never assist in lighting, even if the fire is relatively small.

Wearing loose clothing is not advised and it is important that children know how to Stop, Drop and Roll if their clothes do catch fire.

More: Parenting

The instinct is to run. So, encourage them to practice stopping, dropping to the ground, covering their face with their hands, and rolling over a few times to put out the flames during a safety chat before the event.

You don’t want to scare your kids, but it is vital that they understand that while it is a fun time, it can also be dangerous.

Anxious children may find it easier to watch from a distance, perhaps inside watching through a window if at home, or away from the crowds at an event, or they may like to wear ear defenders to dampen down the sound of the bangs.

Once kids realise that they can have fun and be safe though, you will have them creating some wonderful lasting memories.

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