Stay alert and don’t get hurt this Territory Day

The Department of Health wishes everyone a safe and happy Territory Day on 1 July.

“Territory Day should be a time to celebrate, especially this year being the 40th anniversary,” said Dr Charles Douglas, Community Physician at the Centre for Disease Control. “Nobody wants to spend the night at the Emergency Department."

Last year set an unenviable record with the most presentations for treatment of Territory Day fireworks-related injuries. In 2017, there were 38 people treated for fireworks related injuries between 1 and 8 July at emergency departments across the Territory.

“Injuries from fireworks can be serious and painful, causing permanent scarring or impairment,” Dr Douglas said.

The most common injuries were burns, lacerations, eye and ear injuries. Almost half of those injured were bystanders.

To ensure a safer Territory Day this year the Department of Health is asking people to take a few simple precautions to reduce the risk of injury.

  • Never give fireworks to children under 12 years of age and supervise children at all times around fireworks.
  • Never hold more than one sparkler at a time.
  • Wear natural fibres such as cotton, not synthetics.
  • Use a sand bucket or a flat, solid surface to stabilise fireworks.
  • Avoid inspecting or relighting a ‘dud’ firework.
  • Never point, hold or throw lit fireworks at people.

“People should not use fireworks while intoxicated because their reflexes and judgment can be drastically impaired,” Dr Douglas said.

To help remind Territorians of how to use fireworks in a safer way, posters and brochures will be placed in shops where fireworks are sold.

A fact sheet with more information on fireworks safety is available at https://territoryday.nt.gov.au/celebrating/safe-celebrations-guide

The department encourages people to attend the many professional fireworks displays taking place in towns across the NT this Territory Day to ensure they have a safe and fun celebration.

First Aid Management

Burn injury from fireworks

  • Cool it under running water for 20 minutes
  • Cover it with cling wrap
  • Call 000

Eye injury from fireworks

  • Do not rub the eye
  • Wash the eye with a gentle stream of saline or let tears wash the speck out
  • Do not try to remove an object that is stuck
  • Seek medical attention early

Media note: A further breakdown of 2017 fireworks injury statistics is available in the CDC Bulletin September 2017

Contact: Tess Nekrasov

Phone: 0427 596 954

Last updated: 29 June 2018