Don’t lose sight of the dangers, warns girl hit by firework

India Redhead, who features in the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service safety video and posters warning of the dangers of fireworks.
India Redhead, who features in the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service safety video and posters warning of the dangers of fireworks.

A brave north Northumberland girl who almost lost her sight in a fireworks accident is the face of a fire and rescue service’s bonfire safety campaign.

India Redhead was eight years old when she attended a Bonfire Night party at a neighbour’s house last year.

She was sitting well away from the fireworks at the bottom of the garden, but the last firework of the night went astray and ricocheted off the fence before hitting her in the left eye.

India, who lives in Hadston, was treated for her injuries at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where she underwent surgery on her damaged eye. She had her iris removed, leaving her with an enlarged black pupil and some difficulties seeing from that eye.

India and her family agreed to feature in a video made by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to warn others about the dangers of fireworks. The video will be shown in schools across the region in the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night.

India’s mum, Deborah Duke, said: “Almost one year later, India is still having treatment.

“She has to go for a lens to be fitted every four weeks to help her try and see a bit better, but that at the minute it still isn’t working properly.”

As well as her physical injuries, India has been left traumatised by the accident.

She said: “On New Year’s Eve our next door neighbours were having a big fireworks party in their garden and I felt really scared.

“If there are any fireworks in the street this bonfire night I’m just going to go straight to bed and shut all my windows and my curtains and try to ignore them.”