16 Feb National Burn Awareness Week
The celebration of love and romance on Valentine’s Day, every February 14, may be the only occasion most people celebrate in the second month of the new year. In many parts of the world, February is the longest, coldest, and hardest month of the year – something to just get through before the welcome advent of spring. But to active survivors of the burn survivor community know that there’s much more to celebrate and support than just Valentine’s Day. The first week in February is National Burn Awareness Week, (NBAW) always held early in the year to focus the remainder of the new year on supporting the countless, ongoing, and successful achievement of those working in the burn support and prevention communities to bring awareness to burn injuries. For more than 30 years, the President of the United States, joined by government officials at all levels, has signed proclamations for National Burn Awareness Week, recognizing the collective superhuman efforts of many people to bring awareness to burn injuries.
The grim statistics surrounding burn injury reinforce the need for increased awareness of the cause of such devastating, life-changing, and costly injuries, and the impetus to encourage the public to make all simple environmental and behavioral changes to mitigate the problem. Statistics from the American Burn Association reveal that between 2010 and 2014, approximately 486,000 individuals in the United States and Canada were treated in emergency departments, physician’s offices, or emergency clinics for treatment of a burn injury. There were 3,275 recorded deaths from fire and smoke inhalation injuries in 2014 alone. The list continues:
- One civilian fire death occurs every 2 hours and 41 minutes.
- Men are more likely to be burned than women
- 73% of all burn inures occur in the home, 8% occur at work
- Children, the elderly, and the disabled are most vulnerable to burn injuries Almost one-third of all burn injuries occur in children under the age of 15.
- Children under five are 2.4 times as likely at the general population to suffer burn injuries that require emergency medical treatment.
- Young adults ages 20-29 have a probability of burn injury that is roughly 1.5 times the risk of the general population.
The surprising news is that while burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in the United States, the majority of these injuries are preventable.
This year, a national campaign called “M.O.B” (Mechanisms of Burn) was launched to define the many ways in which a burn injury may occur. A unique law and order motif depicts the primary causes of burns (fire-flame, scalds, electrical and chemicals) as “criminals” being pursued by “Police Commissioner Sean O ’Safety.” The public is given the opportunity to explore the many insidious ways a “criminal” may cause a burn. The big five M.O.B. members include: Chris “Hot Stuff” Chemicals, Christy, “The Flame” Candles, Larry “The Steamer,” Liquids, Thomas “The Surface” Irons, and William “The Wire” Electricity. Learning about the countless ways a burn injury can occur allows individuals to take stock of their immediate surroundings, think through and implement additional safety precautions, and work towards the creation of a safe environment for themselves and their loved ones.,
Once a year in early February, the burn survivor community comes together to celebrate, educate and help prevent the unthinkable. As proactive members of the burn survivor community, do what you can to support the many unsung heroes who work tirelessly on your behalf. Share your stories, comments, and successes on social media. Reach out to new members of the burn survivor community and help them find their voice and the resources they need to move forward with their recovery and the rest of their lives.
For more information about burn injuries, or to share your burn survivor story, please visit our website www.burnsurvivor.com
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To learn more about attorney Robert A. Brenner, please visit his website www.brennerlaw.com