Warning over Halloween fireworks
Safety chiefs in Northern Ireland have warned of the dangers of fireworks amid fears of a rise in injuries over Halloween.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) revealed that accident-related injuries last year increased for the first time in several years - up from 30 to 47.
Males accounted for 39 of them and 29 of those injured were under 18, even though it is illegal to sell fireworks to anybody that age.
Ita McErlean, home safety manager at the RoSPA in Northern Ireland, stressed that the figures were a substantial drop from the 97 injuries recorded around Halloween in 2007, but urged families to stay safe in order to prevent the number of injuries rising again.
"We encourage parents and carers to talk to children and young people about the dangers of playing with fireworks," she said.
"More people are injured by fireworks in 'casual incidents' in public places than in any other setting, with family or private parties being the second most common location for a firework injury to be suffered. In comparison in 2010, there were no recorded firework injuries at large public displays in Northern Ireland.
"If you can't get to an organised fireworks display, which are often of extremely high quality, please don't leave safety out.
"Remember that planning in advance for fireworks parties at home is key to putting on a safe - and impressive - display. Make sure you know what you're doing - and what to do if things go wrong."