National Burns Awareness Month June 2021

 

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Media Release 1st June 2021

Raising awareness of prevention and correct first aid treatment for burns and scalds, experienced input from Professor Fiona Wood, stressing the importance of administering correct first aid in the event of a burn, example of burns victim 12 year old Tahlia and contact details of Kidsafe offices across Australia. Click here for full media release.

Every week, 17 children are treated at a specialist burns unit across Australia and New Zealand. Protect your family this National Burns Awareness Month.

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Kidsafe Australia is urging parents and carers to take action to prevent burns in the home as winter hits and ensure they are aware of the correct first aid measures if a burn does occur.

The call comes during National Burns Awareness Month, an Australia-wide campaign focused on raising awareness of prevention and correct first aid treatment for burns and scalds across all age groups. The campaign is run by Kidsafe Australia in partnership with the Australian and New Zealand Burns Association (ANZBA).

Data from the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ) reveals that in 2018/19, 906 children aged under 15 were admitted to burns units across Australia and New Zealand.

Spokesperson, Scott Phillips highlighted that the home is the most common location for childhood burn injuries, with statistics showing that the majority occur in the kitchen (45.9%).

Scalds from hot drinks, water from a saucepan/kettle/jug/billy/urn and hot food were the most common cause of burn injuries (56%).

“It’s important as parents and carers that we remain vigilant and take action to help reduce the risk of burns to children in the home. Along with active adult supervision, important prevention steps include keeping children out of the kitchen when meals are being prepared, placing hot food and drinks out of reach, and ensuring older children eat whilst sitting at a table to help prevent spills.” “Particularly during winter, hot water bottles, heat bags, and heaters are also potential burn hazards for children. Restricting children’s access to these items, in addition to treadmills - which can cause friction burns - is also recommended,” said Mr Phillips.

The statistics also reveal that nearly one third (28.7%) of children, 37% of adults (16-64 years) and 50% of older adults (65 years +), did not receive the recommended ‘gold standard’ initial first aid treatment for their burn injury.

Professor Fiona Wood, Director of Burns Service of WA

Professor Wood stressed the importance of administering correct first aid in the event of a burn.

“If a burn occurs, it is critical that cool running water is applied to the burn area for 20 minutes. Taking the correct first aid steps can make a significant difference in the rehabilitation and long-term outcome of the burn for the patient”, said Professor Wood.

Tahlia is 12 years old and was in the kitchen rinsing out containers for recycling. She poured hot water from a kettle into a Nutella jar which immediately shrunk from the heat causing Tahlia to drop the jar. It dropped over her foot and the hot water spilled and pooled into her shoe.

Mother Candice was in the bedroom and heard screaming from both her children. Tahlia’s younger sister thought to pull off Tahlia’s shoe and Candice immediately put Tahlia in the bath.

“I wasn’t sure if I should call an ambulance immediately, but I looked up Health Direct and went through a burns questionnaire which said for this size burn to call the ambulance. So I did”, said Candice.

Two months later, Tahlia has had one surgery and many visits to Perth Children’s Hospital for O/T and physio. Tahlia remains in a pressure garment and the focus is now on scar management with a follow up appointment in 3 months time.

Preventing Burns Around the Home

During National Burns Awareness Month, Kidsafe Australia is encouraging parents and carers to download and use their Burns Safety Checklist (see below) to prevent burns around the home, and to ensure they are aware of the correct first aid steps to take in the event that someone sustains a burn:

Correct First Aid Steps

  • Remove - remove yourself from danger. Remove any clothing and jewellery from the burn area unless well stuck to the skin
  • Cool - place the burn under cool running water for 20 minutes. Never use items like ice, oil or butter as these can make the burn worse
  • Cover the burn with a clean dressing
  • Seek medical attention if the burn or scald is on the face, hands, feet, genitals or buttocks, is larger than a 20-cent coin or blistered

Home Burns Safety Checklist

Use this Home Burns Safety Checklist to check the safety of your home.
If you tick ‘NO’ to any of the questions, make a change so you can tick ‘YES’ and keep your family safe!

Click here to download the Home Burns Safety Checklist

 

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Links to some valuable resources on burns prevention and treatment

Fact sheets on the prevention of specific types of burn injuries

Videos for Burns Safety, Prevention and Treatment

BurnSafe learning activities focused on burns prevention and first aid, for children aged between 3-13 years.

Brochures on Burns Prevention

Burns Safety Around the Home

Keeping Young Children Safe

Burns Safety and Adolescents

 

Community Awareness Kit

National Burns Awareness Month continues for the month of June 2021. If you are involved in caring for others, or would like to link to some great resources, click on the Community Awareness Kit link below to download some tools to help you engage with your community during June.

Click here to download the Community Awareness Kit

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