March 13, pilule 2012 – Too Hot for Tots! New BC Children’s program aims to educate parents
about common causes of childhood burns
Now, a new resource is available to BC parents and caregivers of children to help
educate and prevent serious burn injuries before they occur.
Burns are one of the leading causes of injury for children under the age of five.
Each year, pharmacy BC Children’s Hospital may care for as many as 130 young children
Scalds from hot liquids, hot tap water and hot surfaces are the most common
causes of burns for young children – not fire, as most parents may believe.
More than 90 percent of these injuries are considered preventable as the majority
of burns take place in the home – in the kitchen, sales bathroom, or family room with a
fireplace – where safeguarding measures can be taken.
“A child’s skin is four times thinner than an adult’s,” says Dr. Cindy Verchere,
Director of BC Children’s Burn Unit. “Heat moves very quickly to the lower layers
and can cause significant damage in a matter of seconds.”
The majority of burns result from children pulling on a cord or reaching for
something on a countertop and accidentally spilling hot liquid on their face, chest
or arms; or playing in a bathtub alone and accidentally adding scalding hot water
from the tap; or touching hot surfaces such as fireplaces or oven doors.
The THFT program includes:
– A 17 minute educational DVD which includes burn prevention tips and
personal stories from parents with a child who has experienced a burn.
– A brochure which includes a handy temperature card, which enables
parents to check the temperature of their hot water tank (a safe hot water
tank temperature is 49 degrees C; a safe bath temperature is 37 degrees
– Resources for educators to use in public health classes for new parents
“After viewing the video and reading the brochure, parents will be armed with the 3
Bs of Burn Prevention,” says Frances MacDougall, a nurse with the BC Children’s
Burn Unit, and developer of the THFT program. “Parents should be aware of the
burn hazards in the home; be within arm’s reach when a child is near or around a
burn hazard, and burn proof the family home.”
“We, at the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, are thrilled to have
partnered in the development and launch of this valuable program with BC
Children’s Hospital, says Tim Baillie, Director BCPFF Burn Fund. “As first
responders to the home when a burn injury occurs, we know the importance of an
education program to help parents keep children safe from unnecessary burns.”
BC Children’s Hospital, with financial support from the BC Professional Fire
Fighters’ Burn Fund and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, is distributing the THFT materials to public health units and educators, including St. John’s Ambulance, across B.C.
The Too Hot for Tots! video and materials can be viewed on the BC Children’s
website at www.bcchildrens.ca/safestart.
The video is translated in Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Spanish
and French, while the brochures and posters are translated in traditional and
simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Punjabi, Spanish and French.