Firefighter to read children their bedtime story as part of Burns Awareness Week

A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service firefighter is set to read children across the county their bedtime story in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers around the home, to help prevent avoidable burn and scald injuries.

In partnership with the Children’s Burns Trust, Firefighter Abi Van-Loon will tell the tale of the ‘Family Oops’ who learn all about the main causes of burns and scalds, and what the right burns first aid is.

The video will be made available on the Service’s social media channels on Wednesday 14 October from 6:30pm.

The Service’s Burn Awareness Week supports the National Burn Awareness Day (14 October) and the SafeTea Campaign to help prevent burns and scalds.

Steve McCormick, Group Manager for the Service’s Prevention Department, said: “This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, firefighters and safety advocates have not been able to go out and engage with members of the community about burns, as they have been able to in previous years.

“This video offers the Service the perfect opportunity to bring those all-important safety messages and first aid tips right into the heart of the homes of our communities.”

In 2019, 46 children aged four or under in Cheshire were admitted to a hospital burns unit following a severe burn or scald caused by hot liquid, and nationally, 30 babies and toddlers go to hospital with a hot drink scald every day. Always keep hot drinks out of reach of babies and toddlers.

Steve added: “The pandemic has resulted in a number of people working from home, families staying in a lot more and visits to elderly friends or relatives drastically limited. With families spending more time in the house, and the additional pressure that staying in and working from home can bring, it is understandable that safety precautions can get overlooked as we find ourselves presented with multiple distractions.

“With young children and the elderly being most at risk of burns and scalds, it is important that members of the public are aware of lifesaving first aid tips, which can ultimately make a fundamental difference to a sufferer’s recovery time and the severity of any scarring.”

Operations Manager for the Children’s Burn Trust, Alison Tweddle, said: “We are delighted that Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are once again supporting National Burn Awareness day and that they have chosen this wonderful book to highlight the importance of good first aid. The video is such an innovative way to spread awareness!”

The following two safety messages may help someone in an emergency and could save a life:

STOP, DROP, ROLL - If your clothes catch fire, running around won't help. You must always stop, drop to the ground (cover you face with your hands) and roll over and over. Make sure you roll over until you’re sure the fire is out.

COOL, CALL, COVER - Good first aid following a burn or scald can make an enormous difference in recovery times and the severity of scarring. First aid advice from the British Burn Association:

  • Cool the burn with running cold tap water for a minimum of 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound).

  • Call for help: 999, 111 or local GP for advice.

  • Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure that the covering is placed over the burn and not wrapped around the affected area, to assist the covering be removed for medical examination. Make sure the patient is kept warm.

Once you have taken these steps, you'll then need to decide whether further medical treatment is necessary.

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Cheshire Burn Awareness Week