Local medical chiefs have issued warnings over the dangers of fireworks and the consequences of underage and binge drinking this Halloween.
The Western Health and Social Care Trust has issued the reminder “to everyone young and old” to stay safe over the weekend festivities, to ensure they avoid ending up at the Emergency Department at Altnagelvin Hospital.
Gavin O’Neill, Consultant in Emergency Medicine based at Altnagelvin Hospital, said that it is important that people attending the festivities in Derry and smaller towns in the north west “think how their behaviour impacts on other people”.
He said: “While we understand that everyone wants to have fun, we would like to urge the general public to be extra safe and if they are consuming alcohol that they do so sensibly and know their limits.
“I would ask parents and adults to be extra vigilant and prevent underage alcohol or drug abuse to prevent any activities attributing to injury.
“This will all help to make the Halloween celebrations an enjoyable one for all involved.
“Drinking alcohol doesn’t need to be part of the night.
“For young people, drinking alcohol is harmful as your body is still developing. Binge drinking makes you ill and damages your health, increasing risk of accidents and assaults.
“Remember Halloween should be a time of excitement and fun for everyone and by behaving responsibly it can be.”
Mr O’Neill said Halloween is traditionally an extremely busy time of the year for all the emergency services and particularly for local doctors and nurses working in Derry’s Emergency Department.
He said: “Myself and my colleagues in the Emergency Department hope that people will keep themselves safe this Halloween avoiding the need for hospital care.
“If people are using fireworks as part of the Halloween festivities I would hope that they can enjoy them safely.
“Although fireworks can be entertaining and exciting, particularly for the younger members of our community, they can be extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury if not handled properly.
“It is important to remind people of how dangerous sparklers can be and that they are extremely hot for some time after the sparkler has gone out and can cause serious burns.”
It is important to remind people of how dangerous sparklers can be and that they are extremely hot for some time after the sparkler has gone out and can cause serious burns.Gavin O’Neill, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Altnagelvin Hospital