How to prevent burn injury

The best approach to burns is to prevent them from happening in the first place. There are a number of prevention strategies and recommendations for adults and children that effectively reduce burn risk.

The World Health Organization (WHO) makes a number of specific recommendations for individuals, communities and public health officials to reduce burn risk.

Recommendations to prevent burn injury

  • Learn about fire safety
  • Enclose fires and limit the height of open flames at home
  • Use safer cook stoves and less hazardous fuels
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing around flames; use a fire-retardant apron if available
  • Use smoke detectors, fire sprinklers, and fire-escape systems at home
  • Ensure children’s sleepwear is made of fire-retardant fabrics
  • Avoid smoking in bed
  • Use child-resistant lighters

WHO plan for burn prevention and care

Protecting children from burns

The most important recommendations for children include:

  • Supervise children’s activities in the presence of open fire
  • Educate children about the dangers of fire, electricity, steam, chemicals, hot fluids and oils
  • Limit exposure to and use of open fires
  • Make sure open fires are placed in the corner instead of a central area

How to prevent burn injury

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