#BurnsAwarenessWeek 2017

Halloween is less than a week away and excitement is, no doubt, building in your homes with children at the prospect of playing fancy dress and going ‘Trick or Treating’. But during the four week period surrounding Bonfire Night admissions to A&E for burn related injuries increase substantially. So to help parents keep their children safe Buy Wise Be Safe has brought its popular #BurnsAwarenessWeek back with the aim of trying to educate parents and carers of young children to be safe during Halloween and Bonfire Night. This year’s campaign sees us team up again with the superheroes at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust – which is supplying a series of informative videos throughout the week. The first video can be seen below and on all of our social media pages and highlights the types of injuries that can be sustained during this time of year. Posts on this page and social media will contain key facts from our experts which can also be found on this website.


There are a number of techniques you can learn to make sure the children in your care have fun this Halloween and Bonfire Night – but also stay safe.

The following guidance covers asks, are you Halloween Safe?

H – Help children practice STOP, hands over their face, DROP and ROLL to extinguish flames – should the clothing they are wearing catch fire.

A – Avoid billowing fabrics, layers and trailing fabric on fancy dress costumes. Choose well-fitting costumes, in a thicker material. Also avoid the temptation of making something yourself as this creation will not have met safety standards.

L – Look for ‘Flame Resistant’ labels on costumes that you buy. Theses are less likely to ignite and are easier to extinguish should the ignite.

L – Lantern’s, candles, tea-lights in pumpkins and sparklers are all lethal to children. Children under the age of 5 should not be given sparklers. Try using torches or glow sticks instead.

O – Outerwear, costumes and props can be have visible reflective tape attached to them so children can be seen in the dark.

W – Warning labels on costumes and props are important as they provide advice. Make sure you read this before you buy!

E – Ensure you buy costumes from reputable sources that have been manufactured to a high safety standard.

E – Eye openings in masks should be large enough for your child to see clearly out of and loose enough to remove quickly.

N – Need more advice? Why not contact the Buy Wise Be Safe team via the website and pose your questions to the experts.

S – See that any costumes being worn by your child fit properly to avoid trips and falls.

A – Always check costumes for a CE mark, read the instructions and safety information associated with the product carefully before it is used.

F – Flames should be kept away from the child and costume. Considering using LED lights rather than candles or tea lights.

E – Ensure any masks or hoods are not able to restrict your child’s sight or breathing.

Having fun this Halloween

Children of all ages always enjoy Halloween, but it can be a worrying time for parents. We think it should be a treat for all, so offer the following advice below to make sure everyone has fun, safely! Lots of children enjoy making lanterns out of pumpkins.

Always remember knives should be used by an adult and never by children aged 0-5. Supervision when making a lantern is key. Consider using an electric light in the pumpkin to avoid the risks associated with using a flame from a tealight. As stated above, masks can restrict your child’s sight and breathing. Consider using face paint and be sure the paint is safe to use on your child. Some costumes can even encourage your child to get excited and aggressive to other children. Accessories like fake plastic knives, swords, forks, staffs and similar items could be swung around and injury your child – or someone else’s.

Education is key in this instance and be sure that your children are aware of the dangers or injuries they could cause. Legislation has also not changed regarding children’s costumes, and some are still extremely dangerous. Costumes are classified as toys, which means they don’t go through the same fire safety test that regular clothing does.



As our video demonstrated (posted above) last year as part of our first #BurnsAwarenessWeek, naked flames and these costumes don’t mix – and can have scary consequences. If your child must wear a costume, ensure the material is flame retardant and keep them away from as many flames as you can. Bonfire, tea lights, open fires and fireworks all present a risk. Use alternatives like LED lights, torches or glow sticks. They can look just as spooky but are much more safe. Some supermarket costumes, despite passing current fire safety tests, can still be extremely flammable. Make sure you carry out as much research as you can to ensure you Buy Wise, Be Safe.

While on the subject of Halloween costumes, our friends over at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) echo our advice above and warn that consumer need to make sure it’s a treat not a trick when buying fancy dress. Fake costumes could pose a fire hazard and cause serious injury.


It can’t be denied that young and old alike enjoy watching fireworks during this time of year. But while adults know not to touch the end of a Sparkler, your young child may not know the hazards of doing just this. Children under the age of 5 should not be holding Sparklers themselves. The reason why we say this is revealed in this video below…

As the video says, a Sparkler can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees centigrade. With under 5s having skin up to 15 times thinner than an adult, it’s all too easy for our little ones to be seriously burned.

If you’ve had an alcoholic drink, it’s our advice that you don’t light fireworks or hold lit Sparklers. Furthermore, do not hold your child in one hand and a Sparkler in the other spare hand.

If considering using fireworks for a display at your home, you may not know that many fireworks sold require the consumer to be a minimum distance of 25 metres away.

You should never return to a lit firework and you should never be holding a young child or baby while lighting a firework.

Also. keep matches, lighters and flames out of reach and away from children – preferably out of sight so they don’t know where they are.

Bonfire Safety

As the video above says, there are a large number of injuries caused by Bonfires being lit. Things like tyres, aerosols, batteries and fuel canisters should be placed onto a Bonfire at any time. Sadly children can stray too close to a Bonfire and suffer burns, or may touch the site of a Bonfire before it has had a suitable time to cool. To avoid any of these hazards, adult supervision is key!

In cases of emergency

In an emergency, when a person’s clothing has caught fire. Follow the Stop, Drop, Roll advice. Stop the person from panicking or running around as this can fan the flames. Drop the person to the ground. If possible, wrap them tightly in a fire blanket, curtain, rug or coat. Roll them around the ground until the flames have been smothered. Treat any burns and help the casualty to lie down and begin cooling the burns as soon as possible. A good first aid response following a burn or scald can make an enormous difference in recovery time and the severity of scarring. The following steps are great to remember as well. Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery in the area – unless it has melted or is firmly stuck to the wound, Call for help. Dial 999, 111 or a local GP for advice, cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy, dressing or cloth. Also make sure the injured person is kept warm.