How can we reduce burns?
There are a number of hazards within the home that can lead to burns and scalds including; kitchen appliances, household appliances, hot water, heaters, open flames, heated blankets, hot food and drinks.
Fortunately, there are some key steps that you can take to reduce the risk of burns and scalds within your home.
- Do not leave candles, fireplaces or cooking equipment burning unattended.
- Install, test and maintain smoke alarms.
- Develop and practice your fire escape plan.
- Keep electrical appliances away from water.
- Do not wear loose clothing while cooking.
- Install child-resistant covers for water taps and electrical outlets.
- Restrict children’s access to hot, flammable and electrical objects.
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What should I do if a burn occurs?
Quickly administering first aid and treating the site greatly assists in reducing the severity of the injury.
If you or someone you know has just obtained a burn it is important to;
- Stop the burning process (e.g. extinguish the flame, turn off the electrical current or remove the burning agent).
- Remove any clothing or jewellery not stuck to the burn site.
- Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes.
- Cover the burn using a clean dressing.
- Seek medical assistance if the burn is bigger than 3cm, has blisters or if you have any concerns.
The severity of the burn will influence what level of medical assistance you require, however do not hesitate to call 000 if it is an emergency or visit your GP if you do not need immediate assistance.
Burns and scalds can result in minor wounds, however depending on the size, depth, location and cause of the burn, the injury may require ongoing medical treatment and can result in permanent scarring.
Burn injuries can result in long term physical and psychological consequences so it is important that the individual reaches out to family, friends or community support organisations for help in adapting to these changes. For professional support contact;
- Your GP
- Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or www.beyondblue.org.au
- Lifeline WA on 13 11 14 or www.lifelinewa.org.au
Organisations and programs
Injury Matters Burns and Scalds Resources
- Australia and New Zealand Burn Association – Resources
- Department of Fire and Emergency Services – Resources
- Fiona Wood Foundation – Resources
- Kidsafe WA – Resources
- Australian Bureau of Statistics. 3303.0 Causes of Death, Western Australia, 2019. (2020).
- Posa, I., McKenna, J. & Sharin, D. Kidsafe WA Childhood Injury Bulletin: Burns and Scalds. https://www.kidsafewa.com.au/professionals/wa-childhood-injury-bulletins-reports/ (2020).
- Hendrie, D., Miller, T., Randall, S., Brameld, K. & Moorin, R. Incidence and costs of injury in WA 2012. (2016).