Burn Victims Resource is observing National Burn Awareness Week by sharing our message of burn prevention and care.
What is National Burn Awareness Week?
The American Burn Association (ABA) describes Burn Awareness Week as providing “an opportunity for burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in our communities.”
It is observed the first full week of February every year. This year, it is February 5-11, 2017.
How common are burn injuries?
According to the CDC’s National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 436,000 people visited the emergency department for burn injuries in 2013. An analysis of burn injury admissions between 2005 and 2014 in the National Burn Repository found the most common causes of burn injuries were:
- Fire/flames: 42.6 percent
- Scald: 34.0 percent
- Contact with hot object: 8.9 percent
- Electrical: 3.6 percent
- Chemical: 3.4 percent
- Radiation: 0.3 percent
The remaining burn admissions were due to unspecified burn causes, other burn causes, skin disease, inhalation-only injuries, and burns of unknown etiology.
Children are common victims of burn injuries. According to the CDC, approximately 300 children require emergency room treatment and two children die from burn injuries every day.
How can I observe National Burn Awareness Week?
The best way to observe National Burn Awareness Week is to educate yourself on burn risks and spared the word for burn safety and prevention in your home and community.
A good place to start is by checking your home for burn hazards. Some common hazards to look for include:
- Clogged dryer vents: Check and clean dryer vents regularly to avoid a dryer-related fire. See our page on preventing clothes dryer fires.
- Secure your fireplace: Make sure it is well-maintained and never leave a fire unattended. See more tips on our fireplace safety page.
- Burn risks for young children: Babyproof your fireplace and kitchen and safeguard against scalds. See our page on babyproofing your home against burn hazards and preventing scalds in young children.
- Prevent grill fires: Make sure your grill is in good working order and ensure you use the proper tools when grilling. See our page on grilling safety.
- Prevent chemical burns from laundry detergent pods: Children may mistake them from toys or candy. They account for about a quarter of all chemical burns to the eyes in children.
- Check for overloaded outlets: Walk through the house and check for any outlets with too many electronics plugged into them. Consult an electrician if you are unsure.
- Space heater safety: Always unplug space heaters when you are not using them, and do not place any flammable material near space heaters.
- Check your water heater: Check at what temperature you set your water heater, and set it to an appropriate temperature to prevent scald burns. Some experts recommend setting the water heater to 120°-125° F.
- Secure cleaning chemicals: If you have young children, put any chemicals out of reach and lock cabinets. Always read safety warnings and follow all safety instructions when using cleaning or other chemicals.
- Maintain radiators and other heaters: Inspect radiators or heaters for leaks and other signs of disrepair. Have a professional inspect and maintain your radiator or heater regularly.
Burn Victims Resource features several other helpful resources and blog posts on burn risks and prevention tips that you may find helpful.
Do you know these burn risks?
More Burn Prevention Resources
- Preventing Children Firesetting Behaviors
- Sun Protection Tips after a Burn Injury
- List of U.S. Burn Centers
How can I raise awareness of burn risks?
Adults and kids alike can do their part in raising burn awareness in your area. The following are some ideas for you to implement this week.
Community Education Materials
The American Burn Association developed several prevention program materials intended for community education and outreach initiatives. Educators and other community leaders may find the materials helpful when discussing burn safety with students and other community members.
Discuss Burn Safety with Children
Talk to your children about fire and burn safety. Create a plan that the whole family knows in the event of a fire. All family members should know how to exit the home in the event of a fire. Make sure your children know where the fire extinguisher is located, and how to use it.
Refer to Your Local Fire Department
Many community fire departments hold fire safety events and will share safety materials with you. Call your local fire department and ask what you can do to promote fire and burn prevention at home and in the community.
What is Burn Victims Resource?
Burn Victims Resource is dedicated to promoting burn prevention and sharing much-needed information about burn treatment and care for burn injury survivors and their caregivers. We also provide legal information for those who suffer burn injuries. Our lawyer referral specialists will even help victims of burn injuries find a lawyer who can answer their questions and provide legal counsel. You can reach our lawyer referral specialists at 844-549-8774.