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National Burn Awareness Day - preventing avoidable accidents

13 October 2020

Prevention and good first aid are key to reducing the number of burns and scalds occurring in the UK every single day.

National Burn Awareness Day - preventing avoidable accidents

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) is supporting National Burn Awareness Day which is taking place on 14 October 2020.

The latest figures from the Children's Burns Trust and The British Burn Association show that 8245 adults were burned or scalded in 2019 and 30 babies or toddlers go to hospital with a hot drink burn every day. 

Steve Duffield, HFRS Public Safety Group Manager, wants to drive down these figures locally and nationally:

child about to be burned by boiling liquid

"The vast majority of burn injuries are accidents, and most are entirely avoidable. Hot drinks and boiling saucepans are the most common cause of scald injury in children, followed by contact with electric cookers, irons and hair straighteners.

"If people take away one key message from National Burn Awareness Day 2020, it is that prevention and good first aid are the vital ingredients in reducing the number of burn-related accidents."

"With Halloween just around the corner, we also wanted to take this opportunity to remind parents and carers to only buy fancy dress costumes from reputable retailers and to always check the label – clothing will always burn if in contact with naked flames but some faster than others."

Roy Wilsher, Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council explains how arrangements for this year's Bonfire Night may increase the risk of burn injuries:

“It’s been a challenging year as we all deal with the impact of COVID-19. As we approach Bonfire Night, it’s clear many organised firework displays that families usually attend will not be happening. We urge people to be cautious if they are thinking about using fireworks at home.

"Take time to plan and make sure you are confident and comfortable with handling fireworks and that you have the appropriate space in your garden to hold a display. You should also follow the firework code. Firework injuries are more common at private or family displays. If an accident should happen make sure you know what to do, the correct first aid can greatly reduce the severity of a burn and ensure you seek medical help” 

Find out more about Bonfire Night safety

Whatever the circumstances of a burn, HFRS offered this advice:

infographic showing 20 minutes under cold water is recommended after a burnBurn First Aid
Cool, call and cover!

Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound).
Call for help – 999 in an emergency, or 111 or local GP for non-emergency advice,
Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm.

Safety advice:

Remember to keep things that can cause fire – candles, matches and lighters – or are hot – kettles, irons and hair straighteners – out of children's reach.

  • Make sure children don't play near fires or heaters to avoid them getting burnt
  • Use the back hobs on the stove and make sure saucepan handles don't stick out to avoid them being knocked off
  • Never leave children unattended in the kitchen
  • Fit a childproof guard in front of open fires or heaters – the best ones can be fixed to the wall
  • Clothing will always burn if in contact with naked flames – but some much faster than others
  • If your or your children's clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll. Don't run around, you'll make the flames worse. Lie down and roll around to make it harder for the fire to spread and smother the flames with a heavy material, like a coat or blanket.
  • Run cold water first in the bath or sink before adding hot water – test the temperature. Don't put a baby or child into a bath or sink until the water has been tested.
  • Store chemicals, cleaners and acids out of reach.

For more information visit www.cbtrust.org.uk or www.britishburnassociation.org

HFRS Chief Fire Officer Chris Blacksell is a Patron of the Family Burns Club based at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Blacksell

“It is a great honour to become a patron of My Family Burns Club. As a Firefighter for over 30 years I have witnessed the terrible impact that burns can have on children, young adults and their families and so I am very aware of the complex needs of all the people affected. 

"The volunteers at the charity do incredible work to help those people and I know from experience are absolutely selfless in their commitment to help support those needs, be they physical or psychological.

"I would encourage anyone to find out more about the charity and consider supporting their amazing work, either financially or as a volunteer. I can’t imagine anything more rewarding than knowing you have helped some of the children and young adults, who have been affected by terrible burns, and their families to rebuild their confidence and self-esteem.”

Visit their website at https://burns-club.org.uk/

Children's Burns Trust website