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  January 25, 2000

UCSD Burn Center’s “Baby Be Safe Program” Will Teach Parents to Prevent Burn Injuries in Small Children

Each year in the United States fire related injuries kill approximately 800 infants and injure 7,000 children before their 5th birthday. Adding to the tragedy is the fact that experts estimate that approximately 80 percent of all burn injuries are preventable.

The UCSD Regional Burn Center created the “Baby Be Safe Program” to reduce the number of burn injuries to children under the age of four by educating their parents. Since 75 to 80 percent of burn injuries occur in and around the home, prevention needs to start there.

 Cindy Rutter, R.N., assistant nurse manager of the UCSD Regional Burn Center says that a review of the UCSD burn statistics identifying types of burns, where they occur and who is injured revealed that children under the age of four are the most vulnerable.

 “The San Diego Fire Department and UCSD Regional Burn Center nurses have been successful at taking the message of prevention to the schools with their outreach programs and presentations to children,” said Rutter. “But in 1999 we still had 70 children under the age of four who were burned, many of them from scald burns in the kitchen. These accidents could have been prevented with better education for the parents on the potential risk to small children and precautions they can take.”

 To reach the parents, the UCSD Regional Burn Center designed the “Baby Be Safe Program” to educate them on burn injury prevention before the baby is born. As a part of the traditional new parent tour for couples who will deliver their babies at UCSD Medical Center, a nurse from the UCSD Regional Burn Center will add a 20-minute presentation on keeping babies safe from burns.

 Parents will also receive a newborn packet that includes a smoke detector, hot water thermometer, refrigerator safety magnet, electrical outlet plugs and fire safety literature.

 UCSD Regional Burn Center staff will conduct a follow-up survey with parents who attend the presentation to evaluate its effectiveness. 

Funded by the Friends of UCSD Healthcare, the “Baby Be Safe Program” will be inaugurated in conjunction with Burn Survivors Sunday on February 6, an event which marks the beginning of nationally recognized Burn Awareness Week from February 6 through February 12.


Did you know?

Burn Prevention Tips

First Aid for Burns


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Media Contact: Eileen Callahan (619)543-6163

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