According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a US federal government agency based in Atlanta, GA, around 100,000 children aged 14 and younger received treatment for burn injuries in 2010 and approximately 300 actually died from burns.
Most of these injuries were preventable.
As part of an effort to keep children safe from injury, the CDC has instituted a National Action Plan (NAP) for Child Injury Prevention. This NAP aims to increase awareness of the prevalence of child injuries and promotes education and resources to bring down the incidence of burn injury and other types of injury to children going forward.
The CDC’s NAP centers on six “domains” which the agency believes will help to increase awareness of the problem of burn injuries to children:
· Data and Surveillance. This includes collecting, analyzing, and interpreting health data about children nationwide. These data include trends among child victims of burn injuries (cause, age, etc.) and gathering information about how fires actually start and what adults and children should do in the event of a fire.
· Research. The research agenda includes finding out more about and identifying risk factors interventions and strategies to prevent burn injuries, evaluation of current programs, and seeking out new technologies that may prevent fires.
· Communication. This includes the promotion of injury prevention to specific audiences and disseminating them through the proper channels (e.g. in primary and secondary schools).
· Education and training. This includes the creation of learning experiences aimed at increasing awareness and changes in behavior change that will lead to the prevention of burn injuries. For example, The CDC could provide parents with guidance about how to go through mock fire drills with their children at home.
· Health systems and health care. This includes working closely with local health care providers to find efficient ways to create and promote age-appropriate burn prevention suggestions and also to encourage more child wellness visits.
· Policy. This includes drafting new laws, incentives, regulations, and practices that promote fire safety. Modification of building codes to mandate sufficient fire alarms and sprinkler systems is one example of an initiative that could be taken.
More information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/safechild/NAP/.