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Birmingham Children's Hospital
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B4 6NH West Midlands

Experts at Birmingham Children’s Hospital urge families to be ‘burn aware’ to enjoy a safe Bonfire Night

Experts at Birmingham Children’s Hospital are urging parents to be ‘burn aware’ this Bonfire Night by staying safe and remembering the simple 3Cs – Cool, Call and Cover – should an injury occur.

The specialist Burns Centre team has treated more than 400 babies and young people for serious burns and scalds over the last year – two thirds of which occur in those under the age of five.

Families are being asked to take simple precautions to stay safe at this time of the year, when there’s typically an increase in injuries.

As temperatures drop more accidental burns from naked flames or tea lights occur. These can easily be avoided by using a fire guard or keeping candles out of the reach of children.

The hospital’s burns team would always recommend that families attend public firework displays that are stewarded. However, by following this simple advice it’s possible to enjoy fireworks safely at home.

Remember that fireworks should only be set off by a responsible adult, with children and young people kept at a safe distance and sparklers should not be given to children under the age of five.

Should the worst happen and an injury does occur quick action can reduce the potential for long-term injury or scarring. Remembering the 3Cs in such an event can make all the difference:

  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 – 999, 111 or your GP for advice.

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

Deb Lyne, Burns Centre Ward Sister at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Burns can not only cause physical scarring, which can sometimes be life-changing, but they can also cause emotional scars which too take time to heal. They not only affect the young person, but it can also impact on the whole family as well.

“Every year we see hundreds of children with serious burns that could have been prevented. We all know that accidents can happen, which is why it is important to raise awareness of the possible dangers. By remembering the 3C’s, you could reduce the severity of a burn or scald even when injuries happen.”

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