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Burn Awareness


February 05, 2008  |  

A Reminder from Physicians and Staff at UCSD Regional Burn Center

Did you know that 80 percent of burn injuries occur in and around the home?  The team at the UCSD Regional Burn Center treats thousands of children every year, often for burns that could be avoided.  February’s Burn Awareness campaign provides a good opportunity to remind adults of some simple safety tips to help children avoid burn injuries. 

According to the American Burn Association, in 2003 an estimated 83,300 children age 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for burn-related injuries; 15,000 children are hospitalized annually with burn injuries; and more than one thousand children die each year from fire and burns.

“Burn injury is traumatic with both physical and psychological pain,” said Janine Dubina, R.N., Nursing Manager, UCSD Regional Burn Center.  “We urge parents and caretakers to take the time to make your environment and the environment of those you love a safe place.  Together we can conquer preventable injury.” 

Burn Prevention Tips

  • Turn pot handles toward back of stove.
  • Keep long cord appliances toward back of counter. 
  • Keep children at a safe distance from all hot items by using playpens, high chairs, etc. Don't cook with children underfoot.  Create a safe zone. 
  • Never hold an infant or child while pouring or drinking hot liquids.
  • Turn water heater temperature down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Always check water temperature before placing child in tub.
  • Advise your babysitter to NEVER leave your child unattended in the kitchen or bathtub.
  • Put sunscreen on you and your children.
  • Use safety plugs to cover electrical outlets.
  • Keep a screen or glass cover over your fireplace.
  • Keep matches and lighters in a locked box, out of reach of children.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level and in every sleeping area of your home.  Test them once a month and replace batteries when necessary.
  • Always place hot items on a secure surface to avoid accidental tipping.
  • Never, never bury hot barbecue coals- extinguish with water. 

First Aid for Burns

  • Cool small burns with water. DO NOT USE ICE.
  • Do not use ointments or butter. Apply a soft, clean, dry dressing to the burned area.
  • Burns that involve face, hands, feet, genitalia or major joints should seek immediate treatment at a qualified Burn Center.

About the UCSD Regional Burn Center

Since 1973, The UCSD Regional Burn Center has served San Diego and Imperial Counties as well as portions of Arizona and Mexico. Each year, approximately 450 burn victims are admitted and hundreds more are treated as outpatients.

The Burn Center includes eight Intensive Care Unit beds for burn patients in critical condition, with a step-down Intermediate Care Unit that can accommodate up to 10 additional, less critically burned patients. A full-time burn outpatient clinic is open 24 hours a day/7 days a week, to care for children and adults with burn injuries and to provide follow up care for patients who have been discharged from the inpatient unit. During a large event and an influx of patients, such as the October wildfires of 2007 and 2003, the Burn Center has the capacity to overflow to other units.

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Media Contact: Kimberly Edwards, 619-543-6163,

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