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Remember, Remember First Aid!

St John Cymru Wales, the country’s leading first aid charity, is reminding people to stay safe if holding or attending a fireworks display.

According to recent statistics*, around a thousand people are injured by fireworks in Wales and England each year.

Jon Phillips, St John Wales’ Director of Training said, “Knowing what to do in the first few minutes of an emergency can make all the difference. We hope that by following our advice, anyone unlucky enough to have an accident at a fireworks display will be able to minimise any lasting damage.

“I’d advise anyone holding a fireworks party at home or going to an organised display to download our free first aid app, which contains easy to follow advice for dealing with the most common accidents and emergencies.”

St John Wales is issuing the following advice on how to treat some of the most common injuries that occur on bonfire night. (Click here to see our Infographic).


Burns are the most common injuries at fireworks displays. People often pick up sparklers at the wrong end or even come into contact with lit fireworks. If this happens, hold the burn under cold running water for at least 10 minutes, remove any jewellery or tight clothing from the affected area and then cover with a sterile dressing or cling film. Leave any clothing stuck to the burn.

In the case of children or if you are in any doubt of the severity of the burn seek medical advice.

Eye injuries

All eye injuries are potentially serious because of the risk to the casualty’s vision. Help the casualty to lie on their back and keep both eyes as still as possible. Hold a sterile dressing or clean non-fluffy pad over the affected eye. Arrange to take the casualty to hospital.


Parties are often places where people eat and drink a lot. If someone seems to be choking, encourage them to cough. If this does not dislodge the object, lean the casualty forwards, supporting them with one hand and give up to five back blows, between their shoulder blades. If this is unsuccessful try abdominal thrusts; Stand behind the casualty and link your hand below their ribcage, with the lower hand clenched in a fist. Pull sharply inwards and upwards. Stop if the obstruction is cleared. After three cycles of back blows and abdominal thrusts, call 999 for an ambulance and prepare to perform CPR if the casualty stops breathing.


Standing outside in cold and wet conditions can be dangerous. If someone is shivering, cold and pale, disorientated and has shallow breathing and a weak pulse, they could have hypothermia. Bring the casualty indoors and give them warm and dry clothing. Call 999 and give them warm drinks and high energy foods such as chocolate until the ambulance arrives.

St John Wales volunteers will be giving up their free time to provide first aid cover at fireworks displays at events across Wales.

Click on the relevant pages to find out more about becoming a volunteer, learning first aid or to download the free first aid app.