18th Annual Burn Awareness Week

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PROVINCE, BC – The BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund’s 18th Annual Burn Awareness Week (BAW) program runs February 2nd  to 8th , 2014.

Available online at www.burnfund.org, BAW teaches kids to be responsible for their own safety, and helps make their families aware of potentially harmful situations.

To encourage student participation, treat the Burn Fund runs the annual Burn Awareness Week Poster Contest.  Every entrant receives a participation prize and fifty students will win money for their elementary school or BC Ministry of Education sanctioned distance education facility.  There are seven regional prizes, including a $1,000 Grand prize and six $500 Regional  prizes.  Regions are the Lower Mainland (three winners), Vancouver Island, Kootenays, Northern BC and the Okanagan (one winner for each area).  Forty-three students win runner-up prizes of $50 each for their school  or distance education facility.
Complete prize details, rules and regulations are available online.

Burn Awareness Week Program
Public and private elementary schools in British Columbia, parents, students – anyone – can access the program online, which includes burn awareness safety  tip information, student activity sheets, quizzes, coloring pages, and animated videos.  The program  is available in PDF format for easy download and printing. Educational, fun and interactive, the program includes age-appropriate safety lessons intended for Pre-School (two to four year olds); K/Grade 1; Grade 2/3; Grade 4/5; and Grade 6/7.   Some lessons are also available in French, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Punjabi.

The Burn Hazard
A majority of Canadian parents aren’t aware of the scald and burn hazards in their homes.  A survey by Safe Kids Canada found that 70 per cent of Canadian parents did not know that the most common cause of burn injuries to children is scalds from hot liquids, such as spilled hot drinks and hot tap water, rather
than fire.

“Most adults realize that children need to be kept safe from fire or hot objects like the stove, but they do not realize that hot liquids are just as dangerous,” says Andy Brown, Burn Fund Director and Chair of the Burn Awareness Week Program. “Hot liquids burn just like fire.”

Each year an estimated 9,000 children in Canada visit hospital emergency room for burns, and almost half of these have suffered scalds from hot liquids.  Close to 1,000 Canadian children are hospitalized each year for severe scalds and burns.  Approximately 50 per cent of these children are hospitalized for scalds alone. (Source: Safe Kids Canada)

In British Columbia, more than 200 children are hospitalized for scald burns and thousands more are treated in emergency departments.   Data collected over a five-year  period in BC showed 453 children (birth to five years) hospitalized because of burns from hot liquids.  During the same time frame, Children’s treated 343 young children for scald burns — 87 per cent of these injuries occurred at home, with an average of 40 per cent occurring in the kitchen and 9.3 per cent in the bathroom.  (Source: BC Children’s Hospital)

Scalds from hot tap water are often the most severe.  Children’s skin is thinner and more sensitive.  A child’s skin burns four times more quickly and more deeply than an adult’s skin at the same temperature.  Most home hot water heaters in Canada are set at 60° Celsius (140° Fahrenheit).  At this temperature, a child’s skin can burn in just one second.

The Burn Fund urges parents to study this important burn and scald safety information and to spend some time with their children to review the online Burn Awareness Week Program.


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