Children and fireworks – it can make for an explosive combination. And with bonfire night just around the corner, it's important for mums and dads to know how to keep their little ones safe. Take a look at our top tips to ensure your family has a fun-filled, and drama-free, evening…
With bright colours, loud bangs and general excitement, Bonfire Night is a bit of a sensory overload for children. So first and foremost, make sure you know where your children are at all times if your family are heading out to a fireworks display.
- Find a safe place to stand and don't get too close to the fireworks or the bonfire - sparks can fly out of the fire so quickly that a baby or child's eyelids might not have time to react. And remember that wood smoke is also detrimental to health, containing over 200 chemicals, so keep your family at a safe distance to avoid harm.
- Make sure those little ears are protected - displays tend to be very loud, around 140dB, which is loud enough to cause permanent damage, according to Baby Sensory. Earmuffs can reduce dangerous levels of noise and can be used on babies as young as six weeks old (unfortunately there isn't any ear protection designed for newborns, so it's a good idea to keep them tucked up at home).
- Don't use earplugs - they can damage the soft ear canal of a baby or young child.
- Never give a sparkler to a child under the age of five. A sparkler can reach a temperature of around 2000°C, five times hotter than cooking oil. Older children should be supervised at all times, wear gloves, hold the sparkler at arm's length, and don't hold babies or young children while you are holding a sparkler; they could reach out and grab at it unexpectedly.
- Don't let children run around with sparklers, wave them near anyone else or pick them up from the ground; sparklers stay hot long after they have gone out, so put them in a bucket of cold water to stop little hands getting burnt.
- Wrap your children up in several layers of clothing, especially if you are heading out for prolonged periods of time. Make sure that heads, hands and feet are all well covered.
Have a very happy Bonfire Night!