Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is today showing its support for National Burn Awareness Day by urging members of the public to take steps to keep themselves and their children safe.
According to national figures, more than 5,000 children aged under five-years-old were admitted to hospital in 2014 with burn injuries, which is a stark reminder about how important fire prevention messages are.
In Northamptonshire, seven people suffered slight burns and two people sustained severe burns in house fires within the last year (2014-2015).
Hot drinks are the most common cause of scald injury in children, followed by contact with electric cookers, hair straighteners, irons and central heating radiators. A significant number of adult injuries result from hot fat, barbecues, garden fires and bonfires.
Advice from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is as follows:
- Never allow children near fireworks.
- Make sure children don’t play near fires or heaters, to avoid them getting burnt.
- Fit a childproof guard in front of open fires or heaters – the best ones can be fixed to the wall.
- If someone’s clothes catch fire – stop, drop and roll. Don’t run around as this could make the flames worse. Lie down and roll around to make it harder for the fire to spread, and smother the flames with a heavy material like a coat or a blanket. Only use stop, drop and roll when clothing catches fire.
- Cool a burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to a wound).
- Never leave children unattended in the kitchen.
- When running a bath, put cold water in first and then top up with hot. Never leave babies or young children alone in the bath.
- Make sure costumes worn for occasions such as Halloween are flame resistant.
- The easiest way to protect your home and family from fire is with working smoke alarms – get them, install them, test them. They could save your life.
Mark Ainge, head of the Prevention and Community Protection Department for Northamptonshire Police and Fire, said: “There are so many steps you can take to prevent accidental burns from happening. Burns can occur so quickly and yet sometimes have life-long effects.
"We would urge the public to remain vigilant to the potential causes of burns; whether that is a firework or bonfire used to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night, or a hot drink left within the reach of a toddler.
“With Halloween coming up, we would also remind people to ensure their children are a safe distance from naked flames and that costumes are made from flame-resistant materials.”