Latest report shows worst off children in England and Wales are four times more likely to experience a serious burn injury

Today, on National Burn Awareness Day 2020, the Children’s Burns Trust and British Burn Association are campaigning to highlight a concerning correlation between social deprivation and the number of children sustaining life-altering burn injuries.

New data from the International Burn Injury Database (iBID), shows a clear link between children living in the most deprived areas of England and Wales and those who are admitted to a Specialist Burns Unit following a burn or scald injury. Children living in the top areas of social deprivation are 4.3 times more likely to be burned or scalded than those living elsewhere in the country.

The Children’s Burns Trust and British Burn Association, have released this exclusive insight to raise awareness of the devastating number of children that are, on a daily basis, affected by life-altering burn injuries, and to promote the right burn-related first aid to parents, carers, grandparents and others involved in the care of children.

The data also highlights the top causes of burn injuries in children, with those under 5 being most at risk from hot drink spills, such as tea and coffee.

Older children, those in the 15 – 24-year age group, are most at risk from firework injuries and fires outside the home. With Bonfire night fast approaching and organised firework displays being unable to take place due to Covid-19 restrictions, experts are concerned that injuries from these sources may increase this autumn/winter. Due to the many families who will take it upon themselves to organise their own firework displays at home.

The core aim of National Burn Awareness day is to urge families to be aware of the risks to children. 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.

Steph, Mum of Maisie who was burned by a firework at just 4 years old says “I want to tell Maisie’s story so if anyone considers having fireworks at home to think again. I remember in the past we didn’t think twice about having fireworks at home and when one firework whizzed off in the wrong direction it was funny. Now when I hear of kids throwing them at each other in the street it makes my heart sink. The doctors say that Maisie was very lucky – if it had gone a few inches either way, she could have been blinded or have had breathing difficulties for the rest of her life.”

Ken Dunn, Consultant Burn and Plastic Surgeon and Trustee of The Children’s Burns Trust, whose work is focused on children and their families said: “Looking at the correlation between deprivation and burn and scald injuries so far in 2020 brings into stark reality how important it is to raise awareness of the everyday dangers children are facing, especially around this time of year when firework injuries are most likely to occur. The vast majority of burn injuries are accidents, and most are entirely avoidable. On National Burn Awareness Day 2020, we need to see greater awareness about prevention and good first aid, both of which are key to reducing the number of injuries.” 

Hundreds of NHS Services, Fire and Rescue Services, along with other organisations, come together each year on National Burn Awareness Day to raise awareness of the alarming number of people burned each and every day in the UK – the vast majority of which are preventable. The campaign also helps to promote the vital message of the importance of good first aid if a burn or scald does occur: COOL for 20 minutes under cool running water, CALL 999 OR 111 or your GP for advice, COVER the burn loosely with cling film.

All statistics have been provided by the International Burn Injury Database (iBID), incorporating data collected from all NHS Burn Services in England and Wales, they do not include the minor burns and scalds that are treated by Accident and Emergency Departments.

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