Shriners Hospitals wants children and families to “Be Burn Aware”


Graphic about how 25% of Americans leave lit candles unattended

February 3-9, 2019 is Burn Awareness Week. During this time, Shriners Hospitals for Children will begin its annual burn awareness and prevention campaign. Since the 1960s, Shriners Hospitals for Children has been a leader in burn care, research and education, and burn injury prevention is a key component in these efforts. Burn Awareness Week is Shriners Hospitals for Children’s kickoff of a year-long educational campaign aimed at burn awareness and prevention that includes offering free educational materials via the Be Burn Aware webpage. The items are designed to be a resource for firefighters, teachers, parents and others concerned with the safety and well-being of children.

This year’s effort will once again use the theme Be Burn Aware, and focus on preventing burn injuries in the home, because the vast majority of preventable burn injuries continue to occur in residences. Homes are the sites of thousands of burn injuries to children every year, including scalds, fire-related injuries and even electrical burns. Many of these incidents could have been easily prevented by following and implementing some basic safety tips.

“Shriners Hospitals for Children works throughout the year to provide burn awareness education to help prevent pediatric burn injuries,” said Kenneth Guidera, M.D., chief medical officer of Shriners Hospitals for Children. “Our Be Burn Aware campaign this year will continue to focus on teaching children and families ways they can avoid burn injuries, especially at home. Since many of these burn injuries are preventable, Shriners Hospitals hopes to use education to reduce their occurrences.”

The campaign features two child-friendly characters, Boots and Brewster – a caped, cuddly bear and a googly-eyed teapot – who are featured in activity books for children ages 3-7 and 8-12. The duo leads children through the various rooms of a house, pointing out dangers and how to easily correct or avoid them. The coloring pages, word searches, cartoons and other activities are designed to grab children’s attention and present the information in a memorable, age-appropriate manner. The campaign also features various tip sheets and fact cards, all available online.

Shriners Hospitals has also created an animated video, Boots and Brewster: The Burn Awareness Pair, which kids are sure to enjoy. In the video, available on YouTube, Boots and Brewster take viewers on a fun and educational adventure to help them become more burn aware.

“Many of the burn injuries we see each year occur as a result of accidents in and around the home,” said Robert Sheridan, M.D., assistant chief of staff and chief of burn surgery at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston. “Recognizing Burn Awareness Week each February is an important part of our mission to educate the public about burn injuries and reinforce the initiatives Shriners Hospitals for Children promotes throughout the year in hopes of preventing burn injuries before they happen.”

Shriners Hospitals for Children encourages everyone concerned with keeping children safe to visit the Be Burn Aware webpage for important burn prevention tips and information on how to order the free materials.