Bonfire night is an exciting time for children and a mesmerising experience for babies. Your baby may love the atmosphere of a fireworks display, but at the same time could easily become scared of the loud noises. We’ve put together some basic safety tips to help you keep your baby safe on bonfire night.
Keep your baby warm and comfortable
Be sure to wrap your little one up in plenty of layers: layers are the key! Make sure that their hands, feet and head are covered well.
If possible, place them in baby carrier or sling (facing you is best as they can snuggle in if they become scared or overwhelmed). This provides warmth and security from your body and can also make it easier for you to keep a close hold on any older children that need your supervision.
Share the load
If you’re going to have your hands full taking care of your baby, try and find another adult to look after any older children you may have. Not only is this safer for everyone, but you will also be free to quickly take your baby somewhere peaceful if they start to become overwhelmed.
Do a sound check
Safety is the number one priority when exposing children to fireworks. For this reason, it is advisable to attend an organised display, especially if you have a number of small children. Loud noises above 80 dB can damage the hearing of babies and young children. Fireworks are extremely loud at 140 dB, which is enough to cause permanent hearing loss.
If you don’t happen to have specialist ear protectors, earmuffs are a good option for reducing noise to a safer level and can be used on babies from six weeks. However, there is little available to protect the hearing of newborns. Avoid using earplugs as these can damage the ear canals of small children and are also a potential choking hazard.
Sparklers can reach temperatures of 2,000°C, 20 times the boiling point of water. This is why they should never be given to children under five years who are unlikely to understand how to use them safely.
Never hold a sparkler when you are carrying your baby. If you will need to help older children with their sparklers, take your baby to a safe place first or have another adult on standby to offer assistance.
Have a plan B
Most children adore watching a fireworks display. If your child becomes frightened and unsettled, however, make sure that you offer plenty of reassurance. If this doesn’t seem to help, take them away from the firework display until they are calmer.
Watching fireworks from a car or upstairs window is a great alternative as this provides a sense of safety and muffles the loud noise of the fireworks.
One of the easiest solutions for new parents is to hold the celebrations at home. However, this can lead to extra concerns for anyone trying to keep their baby safe on bonfire night.
Make sure that all children are kept at a safe distant from fireworks by setting up a barrier or a line that they must not cross. Try to serve drinks and food out of plastic/paper cups and plates so as to avoid broken glass should any accidents occur.
Alcohol should be kept well out of the way of children and babies as even a small amount left in a glass can be poisonous to small children. Ideally, save alchoholic drinks until all the children are safely tucked up in bed, but definitely keep everyone sober until the last firework has gone off. Tipsy adults tend to be less watchful of wandering children.