India heads up fireworks warning

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

A BRAVE little girl who almost lost her sight in a horrific fireworks accident is the face of a regional bonfire safety campaign.

India Redhead, who lives in Hadston, 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 one of the night went astray and ricocheted off the fence before hitting her in the left eye.

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

Now India and her family have agreed to feature her story in a video made by the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service to warn others about the dangers of fireworks. It will be shown in schools across the area in the weeks leading up to Bonfire Night on November 5.

Her mother, 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 at the minute it still isn’t working properly.

“Her eyes often play tricks on her, she sees things that aren’t there because she hasn’t got full vision.

“We’re not looking forward to bonfire night at all this year – I think it’s going to be a very traumatic time. I would urge anyone not to have any fireworks parties in the garden, just go to an organised display.”

India added: “At school I have to sit at the front of the class because I can’t see properly and I have to wear goggles to play sport.

“I can’t stare straight at things because my eye will start to hurt, so I have to keep moving it round.”

To find an organised bonfire and firework display near you, visit www.twfire.gov.uk/bonfire