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KIDSAFE Victoria is urging parents and carers to be vigilant and take action to reduce the risks of burns and scalds in the lead up to winter, a time of heightened burns risk.

The call comes on the eve of National Burns Awareness Month – a campaign that raises awareness of the prevention and appropriate first aid measures for minor burns – which begins on June 1.

Statistics from the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand show that in 2016/17, almost 1,000 Australian and New Zealand children were admitted to a burns unit.

The most common causes of paediatric burns and scalds were hot beverages (20 per cent), water from saucepan/kettle/jug/billy/urn (13 per cent), food (8 per cent), coals/ashes (6 per cent), water from tap/bath/shower (4 per cent) and fat/oil (4 per cent).

Kidsafe Victoria general manager Jason Chambers said children’s lack of awareness of danger placed them at increased risk of burn injuries.

“Children are naturally curious and like to explore their surroundings, however they don’t understand the danger posed by many common household burn and scald hazards.

“A child’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than an adult’s and will therefore result in a more severe burn. Burn injuries can have a long-term impact on children, both mentally and physically in terms of requiring painful skin grafts, ongoing treatment and causing permanent scarring.”

Half of all child burn injuries occurred in the home kitchen, with incidents commonly occurring when a child was near an adult who was preparing food or drink.

Kidsafe Victoria is urging all parents and carers to download the burn and scald home safety checklist from kidsafevic.com.au and follow some key steps to prevent burns and scalds to children this winter.

They are also urging the public to familiarise themselves with the correct first aid measures to treat minor burns if they do occur.

For more information about the prevention and treatment of minor burns, head to kidsafevic.com.au.

Also check our first aid course dates on the website at www.canberrafirstaid.com