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Today is National Burns Awareness Day, a day to raise awareness of burns victims across the country. Children’s Burns Trust works alongside the British Burns Association to raise awareness and grow the momentum of the National Burn Awareness Day each year. This year’s theme is #BeBurnsAware. A burn injury is for life. The scars are physical as well as psychological, and can present life-long challenges for the individual and their families.

Burns can be a major injury and can result in lifelong scars and the need for ongoing medical care. Many burn injuries are preventable and education and awareness in the community can make a difference.

Statistics state that 30 children a day are burned by hot drinks and 8,618 adults were burned or scalded in 2020. This figure only relates to the most serious burns and scalds and doesn’t include the thousands of individuals seen by A&E departments across the UK. The most common place of injury is the home for children and the elderly. For adults, it’s the workplace.

The top causes of burns are kettle spills, hot fluids, hot fat and other chemicals.

Types of burns:

Thermal burns – The most common type of burn seen is caused by hot objects, fire, hot liquids, and steam. These include

Cold burns – Also known as frostbite, these burns occur when the skin is exposed to frigid temperatures for a period of time or by direct contact to something very cold.

Friction burns – Rubbing our skin against a hard object can burn it. Sports injuries often cause minor friction burns from sliding across a floor. An example of more serious friction burns include those

Electrical burns – These burn injuries occur when a person comes in contact with an electrical current. The types of damage vary depending on the voltage and length of exposure.

Radiation burns – These burns occur from sun exposure as well as X-rays or cancer treatment.

Chemical burns – When acids, solvents, detergents or other chemicals come in contact with our skin they can cause burns.

Prevention & good first aid are key to reducing the number of burns and scalds occurring each year. Two important First Aid tips from the British Burn Association to remember are:

Cool, Call and Cover

1. Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound).

2. Call for help for any burn larger than a 50p coin – 999, 111 or local GP for advice.

3. Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm.

Stop, Drop, Roll

“Stop, drop and roll” is used when clothing catches fire. Children can get confused about when to stop, drop and roll. It is important to know when to do this. Children who do not have a good understanding of stop, drop and roll will sometimes do this if they burn a finger or need to get outside if the smoke alarm sounds.

Only use stop, drop and roll when clothing catches fire.

Needless burns can be reduced with fast and suitable first aid and prevention. Being mindful of children around hot drinks and keeping objects that are likely to cause harm out of reach, will assist with safety within the home and reduce needless accidents.

At Ramsdens, our Personal Injury team understand the devastating impact a burn injury can have on you or your family. We can support you through the injury and assist you plan for the future. Our dedicated Personal Injury team can help you claim compensation and get you the support you deserve. To discuss a potential claim further you can call us on 01484 821 500, or submit your claim online and we will contact you at your convenience.