Burn Awareness Week, observed the first full week in February, is designed to provide an opportunity for burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in our communities. Burn Awareness Week, celebrated early in the year, is an excellent opportunity to "kick off" a year full of burn awareness education.
To prevent spills due to overturn of appliances containing hot food or liquids, use the back burner when possible and/or turn pot handles away from the stove's edge. All appliance cords need to be kept coiled and away from counter edges.
Use oven mitts or potholders when moving hot food from ovens, microwave ovens, or stovetops. Never use wet oven mitts or potholders as they can cause scald burns.
Replace old or worn oven mitts.
Open heated food containers slowly away from the face to avoid steam burns. Hot steam escaping from the container or food can cause burns.
Foods heat unevenly in microwave ovens. Stir and test before eating.
Young children are at high risk of being burned by hot food and liquids. Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet (1 meter) around the stove.
Keep young children at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from any place where hot food or drink is being prepared or carried. Keep hot foods and liquids away from table and counter edges.
When young children are present, use the stove's back burners whenever possible.
Never hold a child while cooking, drinking, or carrying hot foods or liquids.
Teach children that hot things burn.
When children are old enough, teach them to cook safely. Supervise them closely.
General First Aid for Burns and Scalds
Treat a burn right away by putting it in cool water. Cool the burn for three to five minutes.
Cover burn with a clean, dry cloth. Do not apply creams, ointments, sprays or other home remedies.
Remove all clothing, diapers, jewelry and metal from the burned area. These can hide underlying burns and retain heat, which can increase skin damage.
If the burn is bigger than your fist or if you have any questions about how to treat it, seek medical attention right away.
See your doctor as soon as possible if the burn does not heal in two to three days.
Fire Prevention and Public Education Exchange
The Exchange serves as a centralized location for national, state and local fire prevention and life safety practices and public education materials that organizations may wish to share with other communities. Visit the Exchange.
Outreach materials from other organizations
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends the following organizations as trusted and reliable sources for free outreach materials you can use to help increase awareness about burn and scald prevention in your community.
American Burn Association. The official Burn Awareness Week educator's guide and PowerPoint presentations in English and Spanish. The American Burn Association and its members dedicate their efforts and resources to promoting and supporting burn-related research, education, care, rehabilitation, and prevention.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Safety tips and social media tools to help spread the word about children and burn prevention. As our nation’s health protection agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works to save lives and protect people from health and safety threats.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). A public service announcement (PSA) and safety tip sheet on scald prevention. The National Fire Protection Association helps to reduce fire loss through consensus codes and standards, research, training and education.
Safe Kids Worldwide. A fact sheet and educational videos to help prevent burns in children. Safe Kids Worldwide is a global organization dedicated to preventing injuries in children.