NEW restrictions placed on the sale of fireworks will reduce the number of injuries they cause, Scotland's community safety minister has said.

Ash Regan visited the Glasgow Royal Infirmary on Wednesday ahead of next week’s stage three debate on the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill.

The proposals include a licensing scheme and training for those buying fireworks as well as limitations on the times and areas they can be used in.

Regan said: “Today I’ve been hearing from the staff in the burns unit, so that’s nurses, surgeons, plastic surgeons, but also psychologists and physiotherapists about the really serious life-changing impact some of these firework injuries can have on people and how long it takes for people to recover.

“I heard about people who work with their hands, artists or joiners, losing fingers as a result of injuries, another common injury is injury to faces and eyes.

“People were saying they thought they knew how to use fireworks but they just did something really silly.”

The National: National Extra Scottish politics newsletter banner

The new law would mean firework sales could only take place for 37 days of the year, on dates surrounding major events like Bonfire Night, Hogmanay and Diwali.

Stage three involves the consideration of amendments and a debate before a decision on whether or not the bill should be voted into law.

Regan added: “The provisions in the bill are an attempt to strike that balance between allowing people to still go to a public display of fireworks with their family – many people enjoy that, I enjoy that – and be able to continue to do that.

“But if people want to use fireworks, for instance in their back gardens, which is where we see a lot of injuries, especially to children, that will become much more of a thought-out, planned decision.”

Senior clinical research fellow in the burns and plastic surgery department at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Eleanor Robertson said the clinical community welcomed the proposed legislation.

She said fireworks often lead to injuries to the hands, face and eyes and can sometimes even lead to people losing their vision or requiring long-term care due to severe burns.

Robertson said: “What we tend to say is that a burn for life and what that means is that, especially in children, if a burn injury is sustained when you are still growing, patients require long-term follow up over many years to ensure that the area which has been burnt doesn’t then cause later restrictions to patients’ function.”