Call for vigilance on winter burns risk
Parents and carers are being urged to be extra vigilant this winter to prevent burns and ensure they know the correct first aid treatment for burns and scolds.
There is a significantly increased risk of burns during winter months and June is National Burns Awareness Month – a nationwide initiative of Kidsafe Australia, in partnership with the Australian & New Zealand Burn Association.
Data shows 924 children aged under 15 were admitted to burns units across Australia and New Zealand – approximately 18 per week – in 2019/2020.
The primary cause of injury in paediatric patients was scalds (52 per cent), in particular scalds from hot drinks such as tea and coffee, with 76 per cent of total burns occurring in the home or usual residence.
The statistics also reveal that 23 per cent of children and 42.2 per cent of adults (16 years and over) did not receive the recommended ‘gold standard’ initial first aid treatment for their burn injury.
Kidsafe’s Scott Phillips stresses the importance of administering correct first aid in the event of a burn.
“If a burn happens, then it’s critical that cool running water is applied to the burn area for 20 minutes,” he says.
“Administering correct first aid measures can make a significant difference in the rehabilitation and long-term outcome of the burn injury.”
Kidsafe offers the following advice in the prevention and treatment of burns and scalds:
- Prevent – take action to prevent burns and scalds. Learn more at kidsafe.com.au/national-burns-awareness-month
- Remove – remove yourself from danger. Remove any clothing and jewellery from the burn area unless stuck to the skin
- Cool – Place the burn under cool running water for 20 minutes. Items such as ice, oil or butter should never be placed on a burn
- Cover the burn with a clean dressing, and
- 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.