National Burn Awareness Week (NBAW), observed February 2-8, 2020, is an excellent opportunity to increase burn awareness and prevent future fires from occurring! During NBAW, we want to raise awareness about fire safety and prevention and to help lower the number of burn injuries across the country.
NBAW, an initiative of the American Burn Association (ABA), is an integration of burn, fire, and life safety educators whose efforts are coordinated to make the public aware of the frequency, devastation, and causes of burn injuries. They also provide consistent and authoritative measures to prevent these injuries and notifies the public on how to best care for those that are injured.
According to the ABA, in the United States, approximately 400,000 people receive medical care for the treatment of burn injuries every year. In 2018 alone, there were 3,655 deaths from fire and smoke inhalation and another 40,000 people were treated in hospitals for burn-related injuries. The majority of these injuries, according to the ABA, are preventable.
The ABA has made it its mission to bring awareness to the causes of such devastating and costly injuries and encourages everyone to make simple environmental and behavioral changes that can help save lives. The theme for the 2020 National Burn Awareness Week is “Contact Burns – Hot Surfaces Damage Skin!”, where a common risk of injury exists from touching hot surfaces such as pavement, stove burners, irons, and hair irons, fireplace doors, embers from campfires, and other hot objects.
The ABA has put together a great toolkit you can use in your company or organization to share the message of burn awareness and prevention. Resource materials include ideas on how you or your company can participate in Burn Awareness Week, fact sheets, statistics, posters, and social media posts. Also included are lists of prevention tips that you can share with employees and their families.
The University of Kentucky, in honor of NBAW, has also provided Kentucky residents with prevention tips for families with young children most at risk for fireplace related burns.