The campaign “A Burn Must Be Prevented”: Measures for Families to Prevent Burns in Children

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    The Association Surviving Burns of the National Children’s Hospital (ASOQUEM HNN), the National Children‘s Trust (PANI), UNICEF Costa Rica, and the Child Care and Development Network (REDCUDI) presented the campaign “A Burn Must Be Prevented“, to emphasize, the current year, the need for greater participation by families and the community to ensure that no girl or boy suffers a burn in Costa Rica.

    “With the campaign called ‘A burn must be prevented’ we make a vehement call to fathers, mothers, caregivers, and teachers to join analyze, distribute and put into practice information on indications, daily and preventive to implement at home, in educational centers, in care alternatives and in all physical spaces where there are minors. We have 20 myths and oversights to combat and 16 measures with which we can prevent very painful situations for children, adolescents, and their families”. The campaign has at least 30 pieces with preventive messages, said Cintia Bermúdez Chavarría, president of ASOQUEMHNN.

    In addition, she explains that hot liquids maintain the first place as an incidence or cause of burns, although more and more occur due to friction on motorcycles, due to the increased use of electric mopeds. Likewise, she draws attention to situations generated in science fairs, in educational centers, when minors handle fire, gas, stoves, hot plates, alcohol, and matches; factors that increase the risks of a burn injury.

    Figures with children’s faces

    According to statistics from the National Children’s Hospital, in 2021 the lowest number of cases in 5 years was recorded, with 277 hospitalizations for burns. From 2017 to 2021, this center registered a total of 1,639 cases and the year 2020 (the start of the COVI19 pandemic in Costa Rica) was the highest with 341 cases. San José and Alajuela are the provinces that historically register the most cases.

    For Dr. Carlos Jiménez Herrera, General Director a.i. of the National Children’s Hospital: “It is positive that in 2021 the number of children with burns that warranted hospitalization has decreased. However, it is very unfortunate that cases continue to occur, and very serious ones, so I call on all adults in charge of children, to take care of them with love and great attention.

    For her part, the Minister of Children and Adolescents, Gloriana López Fuscaldo, indicated: “Parents, mothers, and adults must understand that a burn, poisoning, a fall, among other situations, can be avoided and it is our responsibility. Although the home is the place where each child and adolescent must have the greatest possible protection and where their integral development must be guaranteed; statistics require us to continue working on prevention. This campaign on practical recommendations to prevent burns, which also promotes the 1147 line, WhatsApp 8989-1147, and 9.1.1., provides instruments that show that prevention is possible. Let’s do it”.

    For the second consecutive year, REDCUDI participates in this campaign. “We are going to make an invitation so that around 1,200 care alternatives or children’s centers receive prevention messages and from there, teachers can analyze them with fathers, mothers, and caregivers. We have already started with the foldout that contains 16 indications or preventive measures and we hope this year to have a multiplier effect on society through conversations with ASOQUEM. Teachers are key in this process, since, with them, girls and boys share full days”, said the Executive Director of REDCUDI, Yariela Quirós Alvarez.

    At UNICEF, for several years, we have joined the call of the Children’s Hospital and we reiterate that burns are NOT accidents, they are the product of carelessness or negligence at home, proof of this is that on holidays at the end and beginning of the year, half term and Easter, when girls and boys stay longer in homes, the cases tend to increase. From the way of heating milk, preparing the bath, placing food on the table or parking the motorcycle, these are measures that adults can put into practice and avoid very painful situations”, said Xinia Miranda, UNICEF Communications Officer.

    Additionally, the campaign “A burn must be prevented” has the support of Cadena Radial Costarricense, Eucerin, Grupo ICE, and Grupo INS.

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