Bonfire Night - Keeping Children Safe

Children's Safety on Bonfire Night

We want all the children to have a safe and enjoyable bonfire night and there are lots of safety messages we can give them and share with their parents to promote personal safety. The Fire Officers state that most accidents happen at private parties rather than events so you could ask parents what they are doing at bonfire night and give them some information about locally organised events – in our area the Beavers and Scouts are out selling tickets weeks in advance and you might be able to help busy parents by purchasing some for them.

Bonfires - indeed any fires are dangerous – children see the dancing flames and feel warm standing near fires and might not recognise the danger from spitting wood or coals. Talk to them about the importance of staying behind a fireguard or barrier so they develop a better understanding of why their parents want them to stay away from danger when they are near fire.

Fireworks are hot – and fun but best observed from a distance! When planning firework crafts with the children, talk about how fireworks burn and remind children what would happen to their skin if they touch a hot firework. Make some sparklers with breadsticks dipped in chocolate and covered in sprinkles – remind the children that the real sparklers they might be given to hold are very hot

Parties are happy times – but we must remember not to talk to strangers. What is a stranger? It might mean something different to the children so that’s the place to start! Teach the children what to say if they are approached by someone they don’t know – younger children might be taught at pre-school or nursery shout for help and might say ‘stranger no’ while putting up their hand – older children might learn at school to ask for a ‘special password’ before running away … find out what they are learning elsewhere so you do not confuse them.

Animals might be frightened – all the big bangs and crashes might mean their pets at home are frightened and a little snappy. Remind the children that they must not touch animals if they seem upset because they might get hurt.

Why not make a bonfire night safety poster with the children which they display on the notice board and share with their parents. Meanwhile, let parents know what you have been talking about so they can repeat safety messages at home.

Activities to try at home might include:

• Dancing like a firework

• Listening to some firework music

• Making a pretend bonfire from twigs and leaves

• Reading books about bonfire night together

Childminders are reminded that they must risk assess activities and take all possible precautions when teaching children about fire, bonfires and fireworks. This includes ensuring children are old enough and developmentally aware enough to handle candles, fireworks etc

Accidents must be recorded on an accident, injury and first aid record form which must be read, signed and dated by parents and serious accidents must be reported to Ofsted and your insurance company. Free record forms can be found here. It is good practice to review accidents and reflect on how risk assessments might be improved for the future.

We wish you all a safe and fun bonfire night.

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