Bright! Loud! Colourful! Exciting! Bonfire night is all of these things and more for young children, but it can also be enjoyable and stress-free for mums and dads, if you follow the Soreen team’s safety tips.
Organised bonfires are always a good idea
If possible, head for a town or village bonfire in the local park. These events are more likely to be safer and better organised and will probably have a more spectacular display too, so you’re guaranteed lots more ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhs’.
Have water on stand by if you’re doing it yourselves
Bigger bonfires can be intimidating for younger children, so a small-scale fireworks display in the garden is a good alternative. Always have a bucket or two of water within easy reach so you can throw in used fireworks and pour water over defective ones. You could also use another bucket full of soft earth to set off the actual fireworks in.
Don’t use matches or cigarette lighters
Inside every box of fireworks there should be a special fireworks lighter. This will either look like a little stick or a small piece of cord and once lit it will give off a soft red glow that can be used all evening to safely ignite your fireworks. Never use matches or cigarette lighters, as they are unreliable for this task and can easily burn your fingers.
Keep your fireworks in a tin not a box
Once you open your fireworks on bonfire night, transfer them from their cardboard box to an empty biscuit tin. This will prevent sparks jumping into the box and setting off fireworks by accident. Then, simply take the fireworks from the tin one by one as you use them and replace the lid every time.
Protect those tender ears
Larger firework displays can be very loud indeed, so consider padded earmuffs for smaller children. Don’t use earplugs though, as these can damage the soft ear canal of babies or toddlers.
Watch out for woodsmoke
Woodsmoke from bonfires can actually contain over 200 chemicals and be detrimental to health, so keep the kids well back, and get them to hold their scarves over their mouths if you see smoke starting to drift.