Timely reminder for National Burns Awareness month

Parents are being reminded about the importance of administering the correct first aid in the event of a burn, as part of National Burns Awareness Month.

Data from the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ) shows that in 2018/19, 17 children each week were admitted to burns units in Australia and New Zealand.

The statistics also show that nearly one third (28.7%) of children did not receive the recommended initial first aid treatment for their burn injury.

Bernard Carney, Head of the Burns Service at Adelaide Women’s and Children’s Hospital, said it’s important parents and carers know what to do.

“If a burn occurs, it is critical that cool running water is applied to the burn area for 20 minutes. Immediately taking the correct first aid steps can make a significant difference in the rehabilitation and long-term outcome of the burn,” he said.

The home is the most common location for childhood burn injuries, with the majority occurring in the kitchen (45.9%) and over a third when the child was near someone cooking (34.7%).

Kidsafe Australia spokesperson Holly Fitzgerald said there is an increased risk coming into the winter months.

“Along with active adult supervision, important prevention steps include keeping children out of the kitchen when meals are being prepared, placing hot food and drinks out of reach and restricting children’s access to potential burn hazards including heaters, treadmills and household appliances,” she said.

First aid treatment for burns includes:

●       Remove – remove yourself from danger. Remove any clothing and jewellery from the burn area unless well stuck to the skin.

●       Cool – place the burn under cool running water for 20 minutes. Never use items like ice, oil or butter as these can make the burn worse

●       Cover the burn with a clean dressing

●       Seek medical attention if the burn or scald is on the face, hands, feet, genitals or buttocks, is larger than a 20-cent coin or blistered.

The campaign of National Burns Awareness Month is run by Kidsafe Australia in partnership with the Australian and New Zealand Burns Association (ANZBA).