Indian Journal of Burns

: 2019  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Prevention of burns

Vijay Kumar 
 Department of Plastic Surgery, Autonomous State Medical College, Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Vijay Kumar
1/78, Vishesh Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow - 226 010, Uttar Pradesh

How to cite this article:
Kumar V. Prevention of burns.Indian J Burns 2019;27:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Kumar V. Prevention of burns. Indian J Burns [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 May 17 ];27:1-2
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Full Text

The skin bank was discussed by me in previous issue editorial. The section on “Guru Speak” in this issue introduces challenges in setting up a skin bank. Prof. Surendra Patil from GMC Nagpur has shared their experience in setting up a skin bank at their unit. Burn Unit at Atal Bihari Institute of Medical Sciences and Dr. RML Hospital, New Delhi, is shared in Know Your Burn Unit section.

Burns are a major global public health problem. Burns alone account for more than 195,000 deaths per year (WHO). Those who survive are left with lifelong disfigurements and disabilities, leading to stigma, rejection, and economic losses. Burn prevention strategies are needed to lower the burden of death and suffering from burns which is unacceptable.

In India, women during cooking are most susceptible to burn. One major reason is wearing loose fitting sari or nightdress that catches fire. Doing worship keeping Diya at ground is another risk of catching fire and getting burn injury. Avoiding such clothes can prevent burns, as tight-fitting garments are proven to be less flammable.

When cooking, pot handles should be kept turned inward and away from edge of stove. While cooking food on stoves should be alert and should not leave unattended. Extra care and prevention should be taken for splashes of hot oil or water.

Children should be kept away from cooking area while cooking food or hot objects. In homes having toddlers, tablecloths should be discouraged as a child pulling on a tablecloth can cause a hot object to fall on himself/herself. Lighters, matches, and firecrackers should be kept away from children.

Children should be taught to keep away from open fire in any form. Children should be taught what to do in case of a fire. Exit strategy should be practiced, and children should be taught to stay away from burning substances.

Appliances must be kept unplugged when not in use. All lights must be unplugged when leaving home for any length of time. Cords and plugs should be checked regularly for fraying. Insulation of wires, fuse, and circuit-breaker systems that prevent overloading during power surges should be regularly checked and strictly maintained. A fire extinguisher must be kept in the house, and all family members must know its location and how to use it. It needs to be checked periodically to ensure working condition.

Flammable liquids (such as paint and gasoline) should not be kept near open fire. Smoking indoors should be done. Caution should be practised when burning leaves or trash. Burning objects should not be left unattended.

At workplace, protective eyewear must be worn while welding, mixing chemicals, or working with engines or motor. Protective gloves and clothes should be worn while handling dangerous chemicals or hot objects.

Dr. Chamania described community education and a barrier in the home has lowered incidence in the pediatric burns of their region. This combination of active and passive prevention strategy has had a huge impact not just on the incidence of burns but also on the number of dangerous situations. Such projects are needed all over the country to have a significant impact on decreasing the incidence of burns.

Legislation at governmental levels and enforcement by different government agencies play pivotal role. For example, legislation regulating safety features built into buildings and public places and workplaces, and manufacture and sale of firecrackers, will reduce incidents of burn. Legislation has a key role to play in preventing vitriolage and chemical burns, by making such offences punishable by rigorous imprisonment. Knowledge and awareness are the instruments to prevent burn.