Shriners Hospitals for Children marked Burn Awareness Week Feb. 2 to 8. The Delaware State Fire School promoted this program in introducing its annual burn prevention campaign. This year’s Delaware State Fire School effort again focuses on the theme of teaching children to Be Burn Aware, especially at home because most preventable burn injuries continue to occur in residences.
Homes are the sites of thousands of burn injuries to children every year, including scalds, fire-related injuries, and even electrical burns. Many of these incidents could have been easily prevented by following and implementing some basic safety tips.
Keep children safe from fire. Approximately 85 percent of fire-related deaths occur in homes. And every year, more than 400 children under age 10 die in home fires.
Fires and burns are the third leading cause of deaths that occur in the home, the third-leading cause of injury-related fatalities among children ages 1-9, and the fourth most prevalent cause for children ages 10-14 in the U.S. Many more could be prevented by following some prevention tips and precautions.
To help prevent fires, take these lifesaving steps: Follow safe cooking practices: Never leave food that is cooking unattended, and supervise children’s use of the stove, oven or microwave. Install and maintain smoke alarms on every floor of the home and near every bedroom. Test them monthly. Keep matches and lighters locked up and away from children. Keep electrical cords from being trapped against walls. Do not overload electrical circuits or extension cords. Do not place electrical cords or wires under rugs, over nails or in high-traffic areas. Shut off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark or smell. Have them checked and repaired, or replace them. Be careful when using portable heaters.
Be sure bedding, clothing and other combustible items are at least 3 feet from space heaters. Replace mattresses made prior to 2007, when flammability standards were implemented. Use fireplace screens and have the chimney cleaned annually.
Kerosene heaters should only be used when approved by authorities. Do not use gasoline or camp-stove fuel. Refuel outside and only when the unit is cool.
Shriners Hospitals for Children encourages everyone concerned with keeping children safe to visit burnawareness.org for important burn prevention tips and information on how to order free materials, some of which are available in both English and Spanish.
For more information on children’s fire safety, contact the Delaware State Fire School, 1461 Chestnut Grove Road, Dover, DE 19901, 302-739-4773.