Kidsafe Victoria Issue Red Alert for National Burns Awareness Month
Kidsafe Victoria is urging parents and carers to be vigilant and take action to reduce the risks of burns and scalds in the lead up to winter, a time of heightened burns risk.
The call comes at the start of National Burns Awareness Month – a campaign that raises awareness of the prevention and appropriate first aid measures for minor burns.
Statistics from the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ) show that in 2016/17, almost 1,000 Australian and New Zealand children were admitted to a burns unit.
The most common causes of paediatric burns and scalds were hot beverages (20%), water from saucepan/kettle/jug/billy/urn (13%), food (8%), coals/ashes (6%), water from tap/bath/shower (4%) and fat/oil (4%).
Jason Chambers, General Manager of Kidsafe Victoria, highlighted that children’s lack of awareness of danger placed them at increased risk of burn injuries.
“Children are naturally curious and like to explore their surroundings, however they don’t understand the danger posed by many common household burn and scald hazards.”
“A child’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than an adult’s and will therefore result in a more severe burn. Burn injuries can have a long term impact on children, both mentally and physically in terms of requiring painful skin grafts, ongoing treatment and causing permanent scarring”, said Mr Chambers.
Half of all child burn injuries occurred in the home kitchen, with incidents commonly occurring when a child was near an adult who was preparing food or drink.
Kidsafe Victoria is urging all parents and carers to download the burn and scald home safety checklist from www.kidsafevic.com.au and follow some key steps to prevent burns and scalds to children this winter.
They are also urging the public to familiarise themselves with the correct first aid measures to treat minor burns if they do occur.
“If a burn occurs, it’s critical that cool running water is applied to the burn area for a minimum of 20 minutes. Administration of the correct first aid measures can make a significant difference in the child’s rehabilitation and long term outcome of the burn injury”, said Mr Chambers.
National Burns Awareness Month is an initiative held at the beginning of winter in June each year as there is a significantly increased risk of burns during this time. With the support of mundicare® Burnaid® gel, Kidsafe will be hosting a series of national educational and awareness initiatives throughout the month.
For more information about the prevention and treatment of minor burns, please visit www.kidsafevic.com.au
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