Call for people to be more burns aware

Wednesday 21st October 2015

Call for people to be more burns aware

QVH specialists are calling for people to be more burns aware as figures reveal that the hospital sees six young children with severe scalds on average every week

Burns specialists from QVH are backing a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of burns and how to prevent them on national Burns Injury Awareness Day, Wednesday 21 October 2015, A particular focus of the awareness day, organised by the British Burn Association, is children’s burns.

New figures show that, on average, QVH sees 17 new children with serious burns every single week. Of those, 12 will be under five years old and half of the under-fives will have suffered scalds.

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 home of region’s specialist burns unit, treating adults and children who have suffered severe burns.

QVH burns consultant Mr Baljit Dheansa said: “Burns and scalds are the fourth largest cause of hospital admissions for under-fives, even though they are largely preventable. The most frequent 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. Accidents happen in a split second, but many could be prevented if people were more alert to common dangers around the house.”

To support the awareness day, QVH has sent leaflets and posters to schools and GP practices across the area and will be manning a stand at the Blackwell Family Centre in East Grinstead during the mother and baby morning on Friday 23 October.

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.
(Image courtesy of the Centre For Children’s Burns & Trauma Research)