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National Burn Awareness Week – February 6-12

In the United States there are 2.4 million burn injuries a year, 75,000 are treated in the hospital and over 8000 will die. One million survivors will live with disabilities due to scarring and contractures.

Did you know that each year over 500 children under 14 die due to fire and burn related injury and 116,000 are treated for fire/burn injuries. Children under age 7 are at greater risk of injury from fire or non-fire burns.

The Burn Center at Wake Forest University admits over 200 patients a year. It is one of the 200 special burn care centers in the United States and one of two in North Carolina.

Most burns occur in the home, many as a result of cooking. Other causes are scald injuries, especially of young children and the elderly, misuse of gasoline as people will use this to ignite brush or trash fires in the yard. Burns can also occur as a result contact with chemicals and electricity.

Many day to day activities in the home present a burn risk. Most of these injuries can be prevented with simple measures that improve home safety:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside of each sleeping area, and in each bedroom.
  • Replace smoke alarm batteries once a year even if alarms are hardwired. Ten-year lithium batteries do not need to be replaced as often.
  • Make and practice a fire escape plan with at least two ways out of every room. Have a plan to help young children and the elderly or disabled escape the home.
  • Store matches and lighters in locked cabinets. Teach your child to never touch them.
  • Make the stove area a “Kid-Free Zone.” Three feet is a good distance.
  • Never leave the kitchen unattended while cooking and never leave a child alone while cooking.
  • Keep hot foods and liquids away from children.
  • Place space heaters at least three feet from anything that can catch fire (curtains, furniture, papers). Always turn off space heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Set your water heater to 120 degrees.
  • Never leave young children alone in the bathtub –a child can burn or drown within seconds.

For more information please contact

Donna Joyner

djoyner@wfubmc.edu

Coordinator

Safe Kids Northwest Piedmont

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