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National Burn Awareness Week: Resources

Jennifer Fieten, MA, CCLS
Beacon Children’s Hospital
Maryville University

National Burn Awareness Week is February 6-12, 2022. The purpose of this week is for burn, fire, and life safety educators to share burn awareness and prevention messages with their communities.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (2022), most “fire-related injuries” are burns. The American Burn Association has identified that, each year in the United States, 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention (American Burn Association, 2002).

Child life professionals are in a significant position to provide support, and to advocate, for pediatric patients and families that have been affected by burns and burn related medical conditions. Whether it be to provide developmentally appropriate information regarding the body’s response to burns, preparation for procedures, pain management advocacy, or procedural accompaniment, we have the ability to support the patient and family in multiple ways.


Websites like the National Fire Protection Association’s ( provide resources that can be shared with patients and families. Safe Kids Worldwide’ s ( website includes a safe cooking checklist as well as home safety plan resources to aid families in developing their home safety plans. And, the U.S. Fire Administration’s ( website contains downloadable resources specifically for use with children.

There are also opportunities for our professional community to celebrate this month and to further advocate for our patients and families. By donating to a burn center, burn survivor support group, or to a burn charity or foundation, donors can help these non-profit organizations fund their advocacy efforts and research and even helps them afford medical supplies to treat burn patients under their care (

Burn Safety Tips

While we often ascribe the cause of burns to fires, we know that not all burns happen because of fires. Household chemicals, scalding water, and household appliances can also cause burns. In honor of this month, here are some burn safety tips shared from 

General fire safety

Install smoke alarms in the home. Alarms should be checked monthly to make sure that they sound an alarm. If they run on batteries, batteries should be changed every 6 months.

Learn how and when to use a fire extinguisher. Keep one in the kitchen, one near the washer and dryer, and one near the furnace.

Develop a plan on how to get out if there was a fire. Make an escape plan. Have regular fire drills. Pick a location outside where all would meet in case of fire.

Have a professional electrician check the wiring in the home at least once every 10 years.

Have a professional inspect and clean any chimneys and fireplaces once a year.

How to prevent different types of fires or burns around the home

Always touch a car seat before putting a child in it. That’s because hot seat-belt straps and buckles can cause second-degree burns on small children. Cover the car seat with a towel if the car has been parked in the sun.

Put covers on all electrical outlets a child can reach. This will help prevent electrical burns.

Throw away electrical cords that are frayed or damaged. This also will help prevent electrical burns.

Prevent chemical burns by wearing gloves and other protective clothing when handling chemicals. Store chemicals, including gasoline, out of the reach of children.

Use space heaters carefully. Keep them at least 3 feet away from curtains, rugs, bedding, clothing, and paper. Teach children to stay away from them.

Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet, away from children.

Never leave candles unattended. Blow them out when leaving the room. Consider using flameless candles, instead.

Get rid of used cigarettes carefully. Fires caused by smoking materials are the leading cause of deaths in house fires.

Don’t let small children play near the stove or help cook at the stove.

Don’t wear clothing with long, loose sleeves when cooking.

Cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires. Put out a small fire on the stove by sliding a lid over the flames.

Don’t use a microwave oven to warm baby bottles. The liquid heats unevenly and can scald a baby’s mouth.

Unplug hot irons (clothing and curling irons). Keep them out of reach of children.

Preventing hot water burns in the home

Water heater temperatures should be set to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, or use the “low-medium” setting. Water that is hotter than this can cause burns in 2 to 3 seconds.

Test the water temperature before getting into, or placing a child, in the tub or shower. Don’t let young children touch the faucet handles during a bath.

When cooking, turn the handles of pots and pans toward the side of the stove, or use the back burners.

Use cool-water humidifiers or vaporizers. If using hot-steam vaporizers, keep them out of the reach of children.


Family Doctor, (2022, January).

Center for Disease Control, (2022, January).

National Fire Protection Association, (2022, January).

Child Life Profession