From: Packaging News
An association of plastic surgeons is calling for graphic warnings on firework packaging to help reduce injuries.
The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) says awareness campaigns and repeated safety warnings issued annually are not enough to stop significant number of life altering injuries occurring across the UK every winter.
BAPRAS said an overhaul of firework packaging is required to reduce the growing number of unnecessary, life-changing injuries sustained from the misuse of fireworks, which often require extensive reconstructive surgery.
Last year in England 4,436 individuals attended A&E because of an injury caused by a firework – a huge rise from the 2010 figure of 2,141 firework-related injuries.
Research carried out by YouGov found that nearly 70% of parents in Great Britain would support the introduction of graphic warnings on firework packaging to deter inappropriate handling, and warn of the potentially life-changing consequences to the user in moments immediately before use.
David Ward, consultant plastic surgeon and president of BAPRAS, said: “We are extremely concerned about the continued misuse of fireworks, particularly by those under the age of 18 away from organised events. Although packaged in a jovial, toy-like fashion, people forget that when using fireworks, they are handling explosives which can cause extremely serious injuries that may require extensive reconstructive surgery.
“With many of our surgeons having to attend to these types of injuries each year, BAPRAS are calling on the Government to make a common-sense change by legislating to ensure all firework packaging in the UK includes mandatory graphic warning notices, similar to those found on cigarette packaging.”
Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, added: “The alarming figures raised by BAPRAS today make clear the urgent need for Government to introduce graphic warnings on firework packaging demonstrating the dangers of misuse. We have sensibly legislated to ensure the risks of other harmful products such as smoking and alcohol are made clear on packaging – without similar changes for fireworks, I fear the numbers of those injured will only continue to rise.”