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8th annual burn awareness week set for February 2-8

January 31, 2014 - 4:22 PM

Scalds, not fire, are the most common cause of burns to children.

The majority of parents don't know about this burn hazard.

The B.C. Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund’s 18th Annual Burn Awareness Week (BAW) program runs February 2nd to 8th, 2014.  Burn Awareness Week teaches kids to be responsible for their own safety, and helps make families aware of potentially harmful situations. Further information is available online at

Burn Awareness Week Program

Public and private elementary schools in British Columbia, parents, students – anyone – can access the program online, which includes burn awareness safety tip information, student activity sheets, quizzes, colouring pages, and animated videos.  The program is available in PDF format for easy download and printing. 

The Burn Hazard

A majority of Canadian parents aren’t aware of the scald and burn hazards in their homes.  A survey by Safe Kids Canada found that 70% of Canadian parents did not know that the most common cause of burn injuries to children is scalds from hot liquids, such as spilled hot drinks and hot tap water, rather than fire.

“Most adults realize that children need to be kept safe from fire or hot objects like the stove, but they do not realize that hot liquids are just as dangerous,” says Tim Baillie, Burn Fund Director and Chair, Burn Awareness Week Program. “Hot liquids burn just like fire.”

Each year an estimated 9,000 children in Canada visit hospital emergency room for burns, and almost half of these have suffered scalds from hot liquids. 
Close to 1,000 Canadian children are hospitalized each year for severe scalds and burns. Approximately 50% of these children are hospitalized for scalds alone. (Source: Safe Kids Canada)

In British Columbia, more than 200 children are hospitalized for scald burns and thousands more are treated in emergency departments.

87% of these injuries occurred at home, with an average of 40% occurring in the kitchen and 9.3% in the bathroom. (Source: BC Children's Hospital) Through the use of this data we can see that scalding burns are a large contributing injury factor for children.

Caregivers need to be aware that scalds from hot tap water are often the most severe.  Children’s skin is thinner and more sensitive. A child’s skin burns four times more quickly and more deeply than an adult’s skin at the same temperature.  Most home hot water heaters in Canada are set at 60° Celsius (140° Fahrenheit).  At this temperature, a child’s skin can burn in just one second. 

The Burn Fund and West Kelowna Fire Rescue urges parents to understand how important burn and scald safety information is and to spend some time with their children to review the online Burn Awareness Program.

The Burn Fund is a registered charity established in 1978 by the BC Professional Fire Fighters Association. It provides life saving, life supporting, and life enriching services to the people in British Columbia. More than 3,700 professional fire fighters from fifty communities in British Columbia and the Yukon dedicate their time and skills to support burn survivors through the work the Burn Fund does with its Burn Awareness, Research and Prevention Programs.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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