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Don’t hold home firework displays, urge doctors

Don’t hold home firework displays, urge doctors

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Plastic surgeons fear there will be a big increase in injuries from DIY firework displays this November.

Public events have been cancelled due to Covid, meaning many people may decide to host their own Diwali and bonfire night displays at home.

Medics who do reconstructive surgery and deal with hand and burn injuries say firework-related injuries have become an all-too-familiar sight.

They are urging people to think twice before buying fireworks.

A survey of 1,200 British adults conducted on behalf of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), found 37% were considering putting on a display at home.

‘Unnecessary risk’

Most injuries are caused by incorrect firework use, poor handling of fireworks, and use of petrol or other accelerants to light bonfires.

Along with burns, eye and hand injuries are especially common.

And alcohol consumption and fireworks can be a lethal combination, say medics.

They say the potential risk is too high and unnecessary at this time when the NHS is already under pressure dealing with a backlog of work due to Covid.

Mark Henley, consultant plastic surgeon and president of BAPRAS, said: “Every November, plastic surgeons across the UK witness serious injuries caused by fireworks, with many patients requiring multiple rounds of complex reconstructive surgery.

“With the NHS stretched to capacity due to Covid-19 and a huge backlog for surgical procedures, we simply cannot afford for an increase in preventable injuries, and urge people to think twice before purchasing fireworks for personal use.”

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London Fire Brigade has also called on people to “think twice” about holding a firework display or building a garden bonfire.

The brigade’s assistant commissioner for fire safety, Paul Jennings, said: “Think about your neighbours, particularly older people or those who are self-isolating, pets and of course those of us in the emergency services.

“Despite our warning, if you do choose to have your own display, never drink alcohol and set off fireworks, keep fireworks in a closed metal box and only ever buy ones with the British standard kite mark.

“Bonfires should be clear of buildings, sheds, fences and hedges. Bonfires in your back garden can especially be dangerous.

“This time of year is usually one of the busiest for firefighters and control officers, and we also need to support our NHS colleagues, so please help us by keeping yourself safe.”

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