QVH specialists get behind national day to urge people to be burns aware
Wednesday 22nd October 2014
Burns specialists from QVH are backing a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of burns and how to prevent them on the first national Burns Injury Awareness Day, Wednesday 22 October 2014. A particular focus of the awareness day, organised by the British Burn Association, is children’s burns.
On average, QVH sees 15 new children with serious burns every single week. And 10 of them will be under five years old. The most common causes of child burns requiring hospital treatment are scalds from hot drinks and burns from unattended hair straighteners. Burns often cause lifelong scars which surgery and treatment can never remove.
QVH is the region’s specialist centre for burns treatment and care and has a dedicated facility on its Peanut Ward for children who have suffered burns.
QVH burns consultant Baljit Dheansa said: “Burns and scalds are the fourth largest cause of hospital admissions for under 5s, even though they are largely preventable. The most frequent burn injuries are scalds from hot drinks and burns from unattended hair straighteners. Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to burns as their skin is much thinner than an adult’s.”
QVH’s lead children’s nurse, Nicola Senior, and colleagues will be manning a public information stand in Queen’s Walk in East Grinstead town centre between 10am – 2pm on the day. As well as handing out information and providing advice, they will be inviting local people to win a giant teddy bear by guessing its name. East Grinstead Fire Station will also be attending the stand between 11 and 12am (emergencies permitting!).
Nicola said: “Every day we see a new child who has suffered a potentially life-changing burn or scald. Accidents happen in a split second, but many could be prevented if people were more alert to common dangers around the house, in particular hot drinks, hair straighters, irons and hot things in the kitchen. Even at 70 degrees centigrade, hot water can cause a deep burn in just one second.
“We hope that by going out and talking to people we might be able to prevent some of these accidents. We also want to make sure that people know exactly what to do if someone does suffer a burn.”
The QVH team back the British Burn Association’s ‘Cool, call and cover’ advice.
Cool, call and cover
· Cool the burn with running cool tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery.
· Call for help – 999, 111 or your local GP for advice.
· Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the person is kept warm.