Australia New Zealand Burns Association - Burns Prevention
Most burns are preventable. Unfortunately they often involve small children, the elderly and immigrants.
Burns also often involve risk taking behaviour. The best prevention for burns is to be educated and informed.
The ANZBA Burns Prevention Committee has representatives from all over Australia & New Zealand working
together to help prevent burn injuries. Various burn prevention activities are currently underway in each state
and territory. Please contact your local burns unit for more details.
Below are some tips for avoiding scalds;
- Do not carry a child on your hip, or nurse a baby or small child whilst cooking,drinking hot drinks or heating a baby’s bottle.
- Always turn saucepan handles away from the edge of the stove.
- Always make sure that all hot liquids (including coffee, tea, noodles and soup)are well out of reach.
- Tempering devices can be installed by your plumber to regulate thetemperature of hot water to 50C throughout your home.
- Never leave a child unattended where a hot water tap is on or accessible.
- Always test the bath water before putting the child in.
- Where possible, when running a bath, avoid running the hot water tap on its own.
- Never leave a child unattended in the kitchen or bath.
- Always strain the hot liquid off microwaved noodles before serving to a child.
- Hot food should be eaten at a table not from the lap.
- Ensure your upright stove is fixed to the wall or floor to avoid scalds from toppling pots.
- Keep kettle cords out of reach of children and only boil enough water for your
- immediate needs.
- Below are some tips for avoiding contact burns;
- ‘Keep a metre from the heater’ - keep furniture, clothes and curtains at least one metre away from all heaters and fireplaces at all times
- Ensure the iron is off and children are kept well clear of the iron until cool.
- Put fireplace screens or guards around fireplaces, furnaces, or radiators.
- Make people aware of hot plates, dishes, trays and cake tins when removed from the oven and ensure they are well away from the edge of the bench.
- Cook on the hotplates at the back stove.
- Install an oven and cook top guard.
- Always test children’s food that has been heated before giving it to them.
- Before placing a child in the car seat ensure all metal parts are not hot, (tip: cover car seat with a towel to keep out sun).
- Be aware of the heat from a car or motorbike exhaust, especially for young children standing nearby.
- Never leave a child unattended around a hair straightener that is turned on or cooling down.
- Put campfires out with WATER not sand/dirt.
- Below are some tips for avoiding flame burns;
- Install smoke detectors in your home and those of your elderly relatives and check regularly that they are in working order. Check monthly, replace batteries every 6-12 months and replace detector every ten years.
- If a pan of oil catches fire cover with an appropriately sized lid or fire blanket and leave until cool. Do not try to move pan or add water
- Ensure your children’s nightwear is labelled LOW FIRE DANGER.
- Never leave lit cigarettes unattended. Never smoke in bed
- Never leave cooking unattended. Never cook whilst intoxicated.
- Be cautious when lighting fires – always roll up sleeves.
- Supervise children around camp/bonfires.
- Always keep matches and lighters out of reach of children
- Buy a fire blanket and small fire extinguisher for your kitchen, and know how to use them.
- Make a fire escape plan of you home and practice escaping
- Below are some tips for avoiding explosive burns;
- Do not throw flammable liquids on fire.
- Be cautious when lighting a gas BBQ or cook top.
- Ensure you always follow safety guidelines for flammable substances.
- Do not light fire or use flammable liquids when intoxicated.
- Only hold one sparkler at a time when lighting them
- Remember: Fireworks are illegal in most states of Australia and New Zealand
- and should only be used by trained professionals.
- Below are some tips for avoiding Friction Burns;
- Ensure your treadmill has guards fitted to protect hands from getting caught underneath.
- Never use a treadmill when there is a small child around.
- Always wear protective clothing when riding a motorbike/scooter/quad bike/bicycle.
- If you do suffer a burn injury, always perform appropriate first aid;
- Stop, Drop, Cover & Roll to put out flames.
- Immediately place burn under cool running water (NO ice) for 20 minutes.
- Remove clothing (if wet following scalds) as it can hold heat and cause a deeper burn.
- Remove any watches, rings or bracelets as burned areas can swell quickly.
- Cover the burn with plastic wrap (do not wrap tightly; do not use on face), keep the patient warm. Use clean damp cloth when plastic wrap not available.
- Seek medical attention for burns larger than a 20c piece, or with blisters
- For any serious burn, especially involving young children or the elderly, phone triple zero (000) [phone triple one (111) in New Zealand] for an ambulance.
Created January 2010
For further info contact Siobhan Connolly -