National Burns Awareness Week runs from 6 – 12 May and residents are encouraged to teach children about fire safety and break the stigma towards people living with burn wounds.
Burn injuries are one of the most devastating forms of trauma and have the potential to cause death and lifelong scarring, stigma and rejection.
“Burn injuries happen in seconds but may have a lifelong impact on victims, hence the importance of educating children about fire safety from an early age,” said Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Services Cllr Nomadlozi Nkosi.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 300 000 people die from fire-related burn injuries annually. With children under the age of six most at risk.
“Most burn victims are deeply traumatised and struggle to cope, hence the need for support from family, friends and the community at large,” added the MMC.
While fire accidents happen in seconds, being prepared and knowing how to respond can save a life as the majority of burns occur in and around the home.
Below are tips to follow to help keep children safe from burns:
- Teach young children how to stay safe,
- Encourage them not to hide from a fire in a closet or under a bed,
- Never leave children unsupervised,
- Practise fire drills at home, such as the basic Stop, Drop and Roll when their clothes are on fire,
- Remove kettles where children can reach easily.
In the event of a burn injury, rush to their nearest health facility for medical assistance.