In Canada, fire and burn related injuries are the 3rd leading cause of injury-related hospital admissions for children 0-4 years of age.
Between 2004-2013, 2,839 children under the age of 5 were treated at BC Children’s Hospital for a burn related injury. During that same period, 5,498 hospital visits were required for follow up burn care and scar management. The treatment is painful and prolonged, often resulting in long term consequences for the child such as disfigurement, physical disability, and emotional difficulties.
Injury prevention experts believe that the majority of unintentional injuries can be prevented by advocating for legislative changes to make homes safer and by implementing programs that use proven strategies.
In 1999, the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund and BC Children’s Hospital advocated for legislative changes to the BC plumbing code. In 2012, after more than a decade, new code standards were adopted to reduce the risk of serious scalds from hot tap water.
“As first responders to the home when a burn injury occurs, we know the importance of an educational program to help parents keep children safe from unnecessary burns,” says Jason Milne, a Director with the BCPFF Burn Fund.
Too Hot for Tots! was the next initiative the two organizations embarked on. This evidence based, Early Childhood Burn Prevention Program was launched provincially in 2012. Thousands of families in British Columbia now receive this valuable education and the program continues to grow as more educators learn about the program.