Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is proud to be supporting National Burn Awareness Day today (18 October 2017).

A burn injury is for life. The scars are physical as well as psychological, and can present life-long challenges for the individual and their families.

What many people don’t know is that children and the elderly are the most vulnerable, and the majority of injuries occur as a result of an accident that could have been prevented.

The latest figures, released by the two leading organisations in burn prevention and support, show that in 2016 more than 600 children a month required admission to an NHS Burns Service following a burn or scald injury.

Shockingly, this figure only relates to the more serious injuries and does not include the thousands who were seen for more minor burns in A&E departments up and down the country.

The Children’s Burns Trust, whose work is focused on children and their families, have highlighted that of the figure admitted to a specialist paediatric burns service, over 50% were under 5. That’s more than 11 toddlers every single day.

A burn injury is for life. Being burned or scalded can mean years of painful treatment and, in the worst cases, hundreds of operations to release the scar tissue. However, good first aid following a burn or scald can make an enormous difference in recovery times and the severity of scarring.

Good first aid following a burn or scald can make an enormous difference in recovery times and the severity of scarring. The two important things to remember are Stop, Drop and Roll’ and ‘Cool, Call, Cover’.

 “Stop, Drop and Roll” should be used when clothing catches fire, with ‘Cool, Call and Cover’ used for a burn or a scold.

Safe & Well Manager Vikki Thomas said: “Prevention and good first aid are key to reducing the number of burns and scalds occurring among children in the UK every single day. Understanding what you can do to limit the chances of receiving a burn and both being aware or both ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’ and ‘Cool, Call, Cover’ could make all the difference.”

DWFRS has put together the following list of Do’s and Don’ts to help prevent burn injuries.

Do’s

  • Install smoke alarms on each floor and test regularly
  • Keep hot drinks out of reach of babies and young children
  • Make and practice Fire Escape Plans with the whole family
  • Run COLD water first in the bath or sink before adding hot water – test the temperature
  • Install thermostatic mixing valves in all hot water outlets
  • Keep saucepans at the back of the stove NOT near the front – turn handles to the back
  • Keep kettles, irons, hair straighteners or wires out of reach
  • Keep secure fire screens in front of open fires, heaters & radiators
  • Store matches and lighters out of reach
  • Store chemicals, cleaners and acids out of reach

Don’t

  • Drink hot drinks while nursing/holding a baby or child
  • Put a baby or child into a bath or sink until the water has been tested
  • Warm baby bottles in the microwaves
  • Leave hair straighteners unattended
  • Allow children near BBQs or garden chemicals
  • Allow children near fireworks
  • Leave children unattended in the kitchen or near fires and heaters

To help residents recognise the risks in the home, DWFRS provides free Safe & Well Checks. A Service representative will visit you at a convenient time, we will fit free smoke alarms where required and offer advice to make you and your family safer and healthier in your home.

To see if you are eligible for a free Safe and Well visit, please call 0800 038 2323 or visit www.dwfire.org.uk/safety

For more information about National Burn Awareness Day, please visit www.cbtrust.org.uk/national-burn-awareness-day

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