Burn Awareness Week is promoting awareness about the risks of burns to children.

Burn Awareness Week 2018 highlights dangers to children

‘The vast majority of these burn injuries are preventable,” says deputy fire chief Thomas Doherty

Feb. 4 to 10 is Burn Awareness Week in British Columbia.

This annual campaign is initiated by the BC Professional Fire Fighters Burn Fund to promote awareness about the risks of burns and this year the Campbell River department is reminding residents of the dangers of hot water to children.

“The Campbell River Fire Department reminds community members that hot water scalds are the leading cause of burns to children. The vast majority of these burn injuries are preventable, and it’s important to keep children safe from hot liquids that produce these types of burns,” says deputy fire chief Thomas Doherty.


When using water taps, turn COLD water on first. Then add HOT water and adjust the temperature. Reverse the order when turning water off: HOT water first, then the COLD water.

Always test young children’s bath and sink water before using. When bathing children, never leave them unattended as they may turn on the hot water or slip in your absence.

Be very careful when drinking HOT liquids, especially around children. At 60°C (140°F) it takes less than five seconds to get a third degree (full thickness) burn. Children and older adults, by virtue of their thinner skin, sustain severe burns at lower temperatures and in less time than an adult.

“Playing with matches and lighters is one of the leading causes of fire deaths for young children,” Doherty adds. “The vast majority of these burn and injuries are also preventable.”

Matches and lighters are tools for grownups, not toys. Remind children that, like power tools or a knife, matches and lighters are tools with specific uses, such as lighting a stove or a candle, or for starting campfires.

Discuss GOOD FIRES and BAD FIRES and how to use matches and lighters responsibly.

Discuss the importance of keeping all matches and lighters stored high out of the reach of young children to reduce the temptation to experiment with fire. If necessary, lock away matches and lighters.

Discuss how children can get out of situations that involve fire setting and peer pressure. Define issues such as arson and the law, children taking responsibility for fire-setting actions, paying restitution and making good choices.

Check out a video on the dangers of hot water to children here.

For more information on the dangers of burns and to learn about ways to keep your family safe, please visit the Burn Fund website (burnfund.org).