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Shriners Hospitals Wants Children and Families to "Be Burn Aware"

Burn Awareness Week Kicks Off Annual Campaign

February 7-13, 2021 is Burn Awareness Week. During this time, Shriners Hospitals for Children will promote 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 as key components in these efforts.

This year’s effort will use the theme Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap (A to Z) from the American Burn Association, with a focus on preventing children from receiving electrical burn injuries. According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, electrical fires are the second leading cause of fire deaths in the state. Using major appliances safely, charging phones and laptops on hard surfaces, switching to LED lightbulbs, installing outlet covers and storing batteries safely are all easy steps we can take to prevent electrical fires and burns.

“Many of the burn injuries we see each year occur as a result of accidents in and around the home,” said Robert L. Sheridan, M.D., interim 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.”

Keep your children injury-free by remembering these important prevention tips, recently published by the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services:

Tips to prevent electrical fires and burns

  • Plug major appliances like space heaters and air conditioners directly into wall outlets. Don’t use extension cords or power strips with them.
  • Charge laptops and cellphone on hard surfaces. Don’t charge them on soft surfaces like beds or upholstered furniture.
  • Unplug any device powered by lithium-ion batteries (like a hoverboard) once they are charged-up. Don’t overcharge or leave them charging unattended or overnight.
  • Turn heating pads, electric blankets and space heaters off before sleeping.
  • Learn how to react to a fire in the microwave oven: Keep the door shut and unplug it if safe to do so.
  • As a general rule, don’t put metal in the microwave. Check your owner’s manual for specific packaging that might be allowed, but don’t gamble if you are not sure.
  • Keep battery terminals (positive and negative ends) from coming in contact with each other or with other metals. Tape the ends if you are storing them loosely in a drawer.

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 website. The items are designed to be a resource for firefighters, teachers, parents and others concerned with the safety and well-being of children.

If your child experiences a serious burn and is in need of further care, consider seeking treatment at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Boston, where staff members have contributed to significant advancements in burn care for over fifty years. Learn more.

Power strip with several plugs

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