MEDIA CONTACT INFORMATION
Jill Bronaugh
Communication Manager
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216
785-296-3403
jill.bronaugh@ks.gov
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Press Releases

National Burn Awareness Week (Feb. 1-7)

OSFM | Feb 02, 2015

Logo for national burn awareness week
This week (February 1 – 7) is recognized as National Burn Awareness Week, and Safe Kids Kansas and the Office of the State Fire Marshal aim to focus this week on reminding parents and caregivers that fire is just one cause of burn injuries to children. Hot foods and beverages, heating appliances, hot pots and pans, fireworks, electrical currents and chemicals can all be the cause of serious burns to children.

There have been 75 injured children reported to the Kansas Burn Injury Reporting System since 2010. Of those, 17% were attributed to a child being in the kitchen, with the child either causing the accident by tripping an adult, pulling hot liquids down, or touching hot surfaces. The second most-common cause of burns and injuries are fireworks, with 15% of total injuries to children. In fact, fireworks-related injuries reported through the Kansas Fireworks Injury survey showed a steady rise in injuries to children aged infant through 12 years old.  The third most-common causes of burns were hot soup and coffee spills with 14%. Campfires also pose a hazard with 8% of children injured falling or tripping into them.

While fewer children are injured in bathtubs from hot water, those injuries pose the highest danger, with higher than normal percentages of burned skin and more days in the hospital than any other cause.

Safe Kids Kansas and the State Fire Marshal urge caregivers to:

  • Check to make sure the water temperature is just right. Set your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Always check bath and sink water with your wrist or elbow before placing your child in it.
  • Blow out candles and store matches out of reach. Playing with matches and lighters is one of the leading causes of fire deaths to young children. Keep these items locked up out of sight and out of reach. Discuss good fires and bad fires and how matches and lighters are to be used responsibly. Explain these items are not toys. Keep burning candles safely out of reach of children.
  • Prevent spills. Cook with pots and pans on back burners and turn handles away from the front. Don’t place containers of hot food or liquid near the edge of a counter or table and remove tablecloths so children don’t accidentally pull hot items down onto themselves. Carry any hot liquids out of reach of children; never let a child carry a hot bowl of soup or cup of noodles.
  • Maintain a “kid-free zone” around the stove. Don’t allow children within three feet of a stove that is being used. Never leave your child alone in the kitchen. Don’t hold children while cooking or while carrying hot foods and beverages.
  • Be careful with the microwave. Taste cooked foods and heated liquids to make sure they’re not too hot for children. Never microwave a baby’s bottle; heat bottles with warm water and test them before feeding your child. Understand that drinks and food heated in a microwave may be much hotter than their containers.
  • Keep flammable materials away from space heaters. Remember to keep space heaters at least three-feet away from anything that can burn. Make sure you turn them off when you leave the room.
  • Childproof your electrical outlets and appliances. Tie up electrical cords, especially cords connected to heating appliances such as coffee pots, curling irons and deep fryers. Make sure electrical cords can’t be pulled or snagged into a bathtub or sink. Don’t leave a hot iron sitting on an ironing board unattended.
  • Install smoke alarms and test them monthly. You need a smoke alarm on each level of your home and in every sleeping area. Test your smoke alarms once a month and replace your batteries once a year (except for lithium batteries that are longer lasting; refer to manufacturer’s instructions). A working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a fire by about 50 percent.
  • Set a safety zone around campfires. When burning a campfire outside, set up a perimeter as wide as the oldest child’s height. If a child were to trip, this would keep them from falling directly into the fire.
  • Be smart with fireworks. Don’t let children operate fireworks or remain in areas where others are unsafely operating fireworks.
  • Actively supervise. Simply being in the same room with a child is not necessarily supervising. Safety precautions are important, but there is no substitute for giving children your full attention.

If a child is burned, the burned area should be placed in, or flushed with, cool water. Keep the burned area in the cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. Never use ice, ointments or butter. If the burn is severe, immediately seek emergency assistance.

For more safety tips to prevent fires and burns, visit www.safekids.org or www.firemarshal.ks.gov.

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About Safe Kids Kansas

Safe Kids Kansas works to prevent childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children. Safe Kids Kansas is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing injuries in children. Coalition members include over 70 statewide organizations, agencies and businesses and a network of local coalitions across the state. For more information, visit www.safekidskansas.org.

About the Office of the State Fire Marshal

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is dedicated to protecting the lives and property of the citizens of Kansas from the hazards of fire, explosion and hazardous materials. Our aim is to reduce the deaths, injuries, and property losses of Kansans through inspection, enforcement, regulation, investigation, hazardous material incident mitigation, and public education. For more information, visit www.firemarshal.ks.gov