Sue Walker

Sue Walker

Guest Blogger at See Full Details
Sue is a Registered Nurse and holds a Masters Degree in Primary Health Care majoring in Palliative Care. Sue has extensive experience both as a clinician, educator, and senior manager in the aged care, mental health, and palliative care settings.
Sue Walker

The month of June is National Burns Awareness Month. It is an opportunity to educate the community in the prevention and treatment of burns.

Some Burn Injury Statistics:

  • Children aged 12–24 months account for 33% of paediatric burn injury cases.
  • The most common cause of burn injury to children is scalds (57%) followed by contact (23%) and flame (10%) injuries.
  • Hot beverages are the most common cause of scald injury to children followed by water from a saucepan, kettle, jug, billy, urn or thermos and scald injury from food.
  • 79% of burn injuries to children occur in the home environment.
  • The kitchen is the most common location in the house for a child to be burned (50% of cases). The next most common location is the living room, playroom or family room (18%) and the garden or yard (12%).
  • Flame burns are the predominant cause of burn injury for adolescents aged 11–19.

Current First Aid Treatment for Burns:

  • Remove all jewellery from around the burn area.
  • Remove any clothing and nappies around the burn area unless it is stuck to the skin.
  • Cool the burn under cool running water for 20 minutes. Cool the burn, warm the patient.
  • DO NOT use ice or creams as this can further damage the skin.
  • Cover the burn loosely with cling wrap or a clean, damp lint-free cloth.
  • Seek immediate medical advice if the burn is:
    -larger than a 20 cent coin
    -on the face, hands, groin or feet
    -deep or infected
    -caused by chemicals, electricity or if signs of inhalation injury (blackening around mouth or nostrils, swelling of airways) are evident.

You can read more about this information as well as downloading some great patient education brochures by clicking here>>

The treatment of burns can be complex depending on the severity and site of the burn. There are some great CPD sessions on the website should you want to explore further. There is also a session within the Wound Management Course – more information on that is also available at the website