Parents issue warning for Bonfire Night after four-year-old daughter was hit by a stray firework and had to have a skin graft
- Rosie May left hospital after five weeks with full head and neck bandages
- Both mother and daughter are now ambassadors for the Children’s Burns Trust
The parents of a brave ten-year-old girl who needed a skin graft after she was hit by a firework are warning others of the dangers of Bonfire Night.
Rosie May went to a Bonfire Night celebration in Cwmbran, South Wales six years ago where she was hit by a stray firework which left her with severe burns.
She was rushed to A&E and kept in hospital for over a month – before her family was told she had suffered a permanent neck injury.
This week Rosie May gave a talk on fire and firework safety at her local school as an ambassador for the Children’s Burns Trust.
Her mother, Eleanor Mason, 34, said: ‘We were terrified when she was hit, and didn’t know what would happen to her, but seeing her overcome it makes me so proud of her.’
Rosie May, 10, went to a Bonfire Night celebration in Cwmbran, South Wales five years ago where she was hit by a stray firework which left her with severe burns
Rosie May, 10, with her family – Christian, 12, Eleanor, 34, James, 35, and baby William
Ms Mason took Rosie and her son Christian, 12, over to a friend’s house in Cwmbran, South Wales, to celebrate Bonfire Night in 2017.
READ MORE: Young boy who suffered horrific facial injuries after ‘fireworks attack by teenage yobs while he was playing in the park with his friend’
Recalling the incident, Eleanor said: ‘We went over for a get-together to see some fireworks.
‘Everything was being done safely and responsibly, we had a bucket of water on hand, sand, and were all a safe distance apart.
‘But then a multi-shoot firebox was lit and one didn’t shoot straight, it went off at an angle and shot off in Rosie’s direction.’
The firework hit Rosie May who was only four at the time, in the front of her neck.
‘I rushed over terrified to see if she was ok.
‘She had a scarf and hood on which caught fire, I was panicking.
‘We patted her down, got her inside the house and stripped her out her clothes immediately.’
Eleanor phoned 999 where she was told by paramedics to put Rosie in a cold bath immediately and douse her in the water.
‘Once [paramedics] got to the house she was rushed to A&E at Royal Gwent hospital in Newport,’ Eleanor said.
‘It was horrible, it looked like a scene from Casualty.’
Rosie May in hospital after being hit by a firework in 2017. This week she gave a talk on fire and firework safety at her local school
Rosie was rushed to A&E and kept in hospital for over a month, before her family was told she had suffered a permanent neck injury
Rosie was blue-lighted to Morriston hospital in Swansea on the same evening for burns treatment, arriving at around 10pm.
Eleanor, a support worker, said: ‘I knew from my first aid training that if someone is screaming, the chances are they ok, but Rosie was silent, she just wanted to hold me
‘I was in total shock, it was a big scary thing for a little girl.’
Rosie was kept in hospital for five weeks, where she had to be put under anaesthetic and have her neck wound meticulously cleaned.
Surgeons then performed a skin graft on her, using skin from her scalp due to its similar pigmentation.
She came out of hospital with full head and neck bandages.
Rosie was kept in hospital for five weeks, where she had to be put under anaesthetic and have her neck wound meticulously cleaned
The firework hit Rosie May who was only four at the time, in the front of her neck
Once Rosie was back at home, Eleanor and husband James had to clean her wound and redress it for months on end in the bath.
Eleanor said: ‘It was quite traumatic for her, even a year after she was reluctant to get into bath without being bribed!’
‘We were regularly back and forth for hospital checkups, even now we still have check-ups, once every couple of years.
Thankfully, the damage to Rosie was purely cosmetic, but her mother says it has also taken a toll on her mentally.
Eleanor said: ‘She’s been so good about it, she’s so resilient.
‘She’s also had counselling, just to give her the tools that she needs to fully put it behind her.
‘We now go bowling on bonfire night instead.’
Both mother and daughter are now ambassadors for the Children’s Burns Trust, while Rosie even goes into schools to talk about fire and firework safety.
The damage to Rosie was cosmetic, but her mother says it has also taken a toll on her mentally
Eleanor said: ‘She has turned a negative into a positive thing to help others who have been through similar things, we are so proud of her.’
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Bigland of Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service gave his top tips for enjoying bonfire night safely.
- The safest way to enjoy bonfire night is to go to an organised event.
- Alcohol and fireworks don’t mix.
- Have exclusion zones around bonfires.
- Have someone there who is solely focused on safety.
- Make sure you have a bucket of water nearby any big fire.
- Don’t let a fire get too large.
- If you are setting off fireworks, ensure you follow the correct procedure as outlined on the packaging.
Bonfire Night – or Guy Fawkes night – is traditionally held on November 5.
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