Take care while camping this Easter
Burns specialists at The Alfred are urging people to take care while camping this long weekend, after new figures show the Easter period has the highest incidence of flame burns compared to any other time of year.
National data from the last five years show more than 400 people – including 91 children - have been burnt by campfires, bonfires, burning off, barbecues and hot coals over the Easter period.
Director of the Victorian Adult Burns Service at The Alfred, Heather Cleland, said these injuries were largely preventable and urged people to take care and enjoy the long weekend away camping.
“If you do sustain a burn injury while camping, first aid is really important,” Miss Cleland said.
“If you can, run the burn under cool water for at least 20 minutes. If this option is not available, wrap the burn in a towel soaked in cold water, changing frequently. This will prevent further burning and provide some pain relief.
“These types of flame burns frequently require surgery and prolonged periods in hospital. Scarring is permanent. It’s really important to supervise children when camping and keep them away from open fires. Make sure you put out your campfire properly, particularly if you’re camping with young children, as people can sustain burns to their feet from walking on hot coals.
“We also see a lot of people who sustain significant burns by pouring accelerant onto the fire or barbecue. So it’s a timely reminder not to use accelerants like petrol anywhere near flames.”
Jason Chambers, General Manager of Kidsafe Victoria, said children were attracted to flames but often didn't understand the danger fires can pose.
"Ensure children are actively supervised by an adult at all times when near campfires, as well as around other items like barbecues," Mr Chambers said.
"It's important to extinguish a campfire with water - if you cover a campfire with sand or dirt, even after eight hours the campfire can retain enough heat to cause a full thickness burn to a child."