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Be burn aware!

Burn awareness week

Burn Awareness Week is Feb. 1-7, 2015; Shriners Hospitals for Children will use the week to kick off a year-long campaign focused on teaching adults and children to “Be Burn Aware,” especially at home.

Electrical safety

Be safe around electricity

In the U.S., electrical burns and injuries from lightning result in approximately 3,000 admissions to specialized burn units annually, and result in about 1,000 fatalities. In addition, electrical fires in residences cause more than 25,000 fires annually.

Remembering a few basic safety tips can help keep you and your children safe.

In your home, especially if young children are present:
In your home, for everyone’s safety:
And outside, remember to:
Contact a qualified electrician:

Download the Be Safe Around Electricity Tip Sheet

(Information from the U.S. Fire Administration, WebMD, NSTAR and was used in this report)

Fire safety

Keep children safe from fire

Approximately 85 percent of fire-related deaths occur in homes. And every year, more than 400 children under age 10 die in home fires.

Fires and burns are the third leading cause of deaths that occur in the home, the third-leading cause of injury-related fatalities among children ages 1-9, and the fourth most prevalent cause for children ages 10-14 in the U.S. Many more could be prevented by following some prevention tips and precautions.

To help prevent fires:
Be prepared for a fire:
Fires occur quickly. In less than 30 seconds a single flame can become a fire. In two minutes, it can become life-threatening; in five minutes a residence can be destroyed. To protect yourself and your family, be prepared:

Download the Fire Safety Tip Sheet

(Information from,, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Fire Administration and Safe Kids Worldwide was used in this report)

Use gasoline safely

Firefighters typically respond to approximately 2,400 structural fires caused by gasoline annually in the U.S. These fires cause more than 100 fatalities and more than 313 injuries.

The most common causes of unintentional fires involving gasoline involve:
Following a few safety tips can help keep you and your children safe:
(Information from the National Fire Protection Agency was used in this report.)

Scald prevention

Every day, hundreds of young children with burn injuries are taken to emergency rooms. They were not even near a flame. The children are victims of scalds.

Clearly, this is a real danger. Scald burns (caused by hot liquids, steam or foods) are the most common burn injury among children age 4 and younger. According to Safe Kids USA, an average of 12 children ages 14 and under die from scald burn injuries each year. Children ages 4 and under account for nearly all of these deaths.

While the injuries and the numbers are distressing, even more disturbing is the fact that many of these burns could have been prevented. Shriners Hospitals for Children and Shriners International are addressing scald injuries as part of their Burn Awareness campaign.

How scalds happen

Most scalds occur in residences. Scald burns are typically related to ordinary activities – bathing, cooking and eating – and often happen to children because of a lapse in adult supervision or a lack of protective measures. Youngsters may not understand or even be aware of potential dangers of hot liquids (especially water) and foods; they simply trust adults to keep them safe.

In addition, young children have thinner skin that burns more quickly than adults’. People of all ages can be burned in 30 seconds by a flowing liquid that is 130° F; at 140° F, it takes only 5 seconds; at 160° F, it only takes 1 second. For children under 5, these temperatures can cause a burn in half the time.

Quick facts about scald injuries

(Source: Safe Kids USA)

Preventing scalds

According to the Safe Kids USA, hot tap water burns most often occur in the bathroom and tend to be more severe and cover a larger portion of the body than other scald burns. Continuous supervision of young children is the most important factor in preventing tap-water scald burns, but there are additional simple preventive measures that can be taken, including:

Scalds also occur in the kitchen and dining room. Many of these can be prevented by:

These suggestions may seem obvious, but given the statistics, they cannot be repeated too often. Burn Awareness Week is a perfect time to take advantage of the complimentary burn prevention materials available from Shriners Hospitals for Children's online ordering system. These include burn prevention posters, activity books and fact sheets.

Download the Scald Prevention Tip Sheet

Home Safety

Shriners Hospitals for Children wants children and families to "Be Burn Aware," especially at home.

Burn prevention is a key endeavor of Shriners Hospitals for Children, which is why the health care system began its Burn Awareness campaigns more than 20 years ago.

Safety begins at home
Consider these facts:


Meet Boots and Brewster, the burn awareness pair

The campaign features two child-friendly characters, Boots and Brewster, a caped, cuddly bear and a googly-eyed teapot. In two new activity books for ages 3-7 and 8-12, the pair leads children through the various rooms of a house, pointing out dangers, and how to easily correct or avoid them. The booklets also have pages for families to map out a home fire escape plan.

Be Burn Aware materials for children and families

Shriners Hospitals for Children offers a variety of complimentary burn prevention materials, including activity books, posters and fact sheets. To view these materials and place an order, see our online ordering system. For more information, contact the public relations department at Shriners International Headquarters by sending an e-mail to, or calling 813-281-8162.

To order any of these materials, please visit our online ordering system. We accept orders for delivery within the United States, Canada and Mexico only. Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery. (* denotes that materials are available in English, French and Spanish)

Activity Book
(ages 3-7)*
Activity Book
(ages 8-12)*
Be Burn Aware
Fact Card for
Burn Injuries
Fact Card for
Scald Awareness
Scald Awareness
Electrical Safety Tips

Fire Safety Tips