Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS) are working closely with the Lancashire Resilience Forum and local partners to help keep people safe this October.
People have been at home more than usual this year due to the Coronavirus and LFRS are keen to draw people’s attention to a key calendar event, National Burn Awareness Day which takes place annually on the 14 October.
In March and April we all joined together to give our NHS a helping hand by staying as safe as we could to help keep numbers of people going to hospital down. Please do what you can this Autumn to ensure the NHS don’t receive high numbers that can be avoided by following some simple burns safety advice.
National Burn Awareness Day
This awareness day campaigns to highlight the preventative measures you can put in place to reduce the number of burns and scalds that take place in the UK each day. A burn injury is for life and the scars are physical as well as psychological.
The Children’s Burns Trust have released information showing Lancashire as an area where children are four times more likely to be burned or scalded than other areas of the country. Their burns database allows you to see figures by area. For example in Blackburn 139 of burns recorded were injuries that involved children with the majority of burns occurring in the kitchen followed by the living room. The top causes of burns are from hot drinks, hobs, kettle spills and hair straighteners.
As scary as this data is it is encouraging to know that many burns can be prevented such as:
- Checking the temperature of hot baths for children
- Ensure pan handles are not sticking out or placed at the back of the hob to ensure they can’t easily be knocked
- Don’t wear loose clothing whilst cooking
- Keep hot drinks away from small children and do not pass a hot drink over a child’s head
- Keep kettles, irons and hair straighteners out of reach of children
- Ensure you have a fire guard on an open fire
- Don’t leave children unattended in kitchens or near fires or heaters
- Store matches and candles out of reach
- Be careful around fireworks and bonfires
Secondly, this awareness day also offers some helpful information on how to treat a burn. It is very important to:
- Run lukewarm water over the burn for twenty minutes as soon as possible after the injury occurs. This will help reduce scarring. Ensure you keep the patient warm whilst doing so as they could go into shock. Do not use any other creams or gels, only clean cold running water.
- Remove clothing, nappies and jewellery near the burnt area if you can however if it is stuck do not attempt to remove it as it could cause more damage.
- Cover in a single layer of clingfilm to keep clean and sterile but don’t wrap too tight. Put the cling film in a layer over the burn, rather than wrapping it around a limb. A clean clear plastic bag can be used for burns on your hand.
- Treat the pain from a burn with paracetamol or ibuprofen.
- Call 999, 111 or your GP if you consider the burn to be serious and always seek medical advice if a child or baby has been burned.
Bella burnt herself from a pan of hot water in February this year. Read her story here.
Fire Safety this Autumn
Now is also a good opportunity to remind people on how to stay safe in the home this autumn and beyond. Candle Fire Safety week is the 14-20 October and encourages people not to use tea lights, ensure candles are extinguished properly and that candles are not places on TVs or bath tubs. You can read more about candle safety here. In addition, now is a good time to check you have working smoke alarms and even a CO2 alarm if you have a wood burner. Ensuring your wood burner is clear and well swept is also important. And if you get caught in an autumnal downpour please don’t be tempted to dry your clothes infront of a fire as they could easily catch fire if they are too close.
Following the government advice and trying to walk and cycle where you can? Well done you but make sure you have high-viz clothing and lights as the nights are starting to get darker much earlier.
Finally, LFRS wish to remind people about the importance of checking on your neighbours. Our Nosey Neighbour campaign encouraged people to make a regular phone call to an isolated, vulnerable or elderly person or knock on their door to check they are okay. With darker nights and curtains drawn it is all to easy to forget about how someone is.
Follow the @ChildrensBurnsTrust or @BritishBurn for more.