National Burns Awareness Month is a national campaign run by Kidsafe Australia with the support of mundicare® Burnaid® gel to raise awareness of the prevention and appropriate first aid measures for minor burns.
The campaign is held in June each year as there is a significantly increased risk of burns during winter.
Statistics from the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ) show that in 2016/17, almost 1000 Australian children were admitted to hospital due to a burni. Scalds were the most common cause of burns for children (57%), followed by contact (23%) and flame (10%) burnsi.
Kidsafe Australia spokesperson, Holly Fitzgerald, highlighted the dangers of the home kitchen, as this was the location for half of all child burn injuries.
“The majority of burns are preventable. The kitchen is the most dangerous room of the house for a young child to be burned, usually occurring whilst near an adult preparing food or drink. This emphasises the need to be vigilant and take steps such as restricting children’s access to the kitchen during meal preparation times, to reduce the risk of a serious burn or scald occurring.”
“At Kidsafe, we always recommend placing hot drinks safely away from table or bench edges and never holding a child with a hot drink in hand. All it takes is for them to throw their arms around and spill the hot water onto themselves. At 60◦C it would take one second to cause a third-degree burn to a child’s skin. Water boils at 100◦C,” said Ms Fitzgerald.
Other common places for child burn injuries included the living room, garden or yard, particularly when children were playing.
Dr Warwick Teague, Head of Trauma at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne said that burn injuries can have a long term impact on children, not just physically, but also mentally.
“Burn injuries really do have a long lasting effect on the whole family, so we need to do everything we can to prevent these from occurring.”
“If a burn happens, then 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 Dr Teague.
Key burns facts:
- 79% of paediatric burns injuries occur in the homei.
- The rate of admission to Australian burns units for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is more than triple that of the non-indigenous population.
As part of the National Burns Awareness Month, Kidsafe Australia is urging all parents and carers to download this simple safety checklist www.kidsafe.com.au/national-burns-awareness-month/ and follow some key steps to prevent and treat burns and scalds to children this winter:
- Prevent- take action to prevent burns and scalds as per www.kidsafe.com.au/national-burns-awareness-month/
- Remove- remove yourself from danger. Remove any clothing and jewellery from the burn area
- Cool- place the burn under cool, running water for twenty minutes
- Cover – Cover with a clean dressing
In the absence of cool running water, use a hydrogel like Burnaid® to help cool the burn and relieve pain.
A series of national educational and awareness initiatives will be run throughout the month to raise awareness regarding the prevention and treatment of minor burns.
For more information about the month and correct first aid treatment of minor burns visit:
- Kidsafe Australia – kidsafe.com.au
- Australian & New Zealand Burn Association (ANZBA), the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand – www.anzba.org.au
- Twitter @BurnsAwareMonth
- Facebook – Kidsafe Australia
(R) MUNDICARE AND BURNAID are trademarks of MUNDIPHARMA.
 BRANZ Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand, Annual Report, ANNUAL REPORT, 1st July 2013 –30th June 2014