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Halloween hazard Plastic surgeon reveals how sparklers have caused kids to need partial amputations

"We’ve also seen flame burns coming into the burn unit each year. They're really deadly"


A consultant plastic surgeon has revealed that children have suffered partial hand amputations as a result of burns caused by sparklers. 

In the run up to Halloween, Ann McKenna who works at Cork's Bon Secours Hospital told how children can suffer “catastrophic burns” to their hands as a result of accidents caused by sparklers.

Ms McKenna said at least "one or two children nationally each year" require partial hand amputations as a result.

“As the wire is melting, it reaches a temperature of 1,000-1,600 degrees centigrade,” she revealed. “These are quite magical as we’re looking at them… but as the sparkler is going lower and lower, small children don’t realise the danger it is, and they don’t let go.

“As a result, they sustain a catastrophic burn to their hands, which unfortunately can result in partial or total hand amputations.

“There’s at least one or two children nationally each year that require a partial hand amputation.”

As well as the risk of hand burns, Ms McKenna says the sparks from sparklers can also pose a fire risk to Halloween costumes

She said: “We’ve also seen flame burns coming into the burn unit each year. They're really deadly.

“Halloween is just a hazard zone for children to be burned… it’s quite bothersome for plastic surgeons in particular around this time of year.”

Although most fireworks in Ireland can only be legally bought and used by professional, licensed operators, so-called 'category F1' fireworks - which include some sparklers - can be bought by the general public and are considered “low hazard”.

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