Children's National Medical Center

2012 Community Benefit Report

Burn Prevention Education

Few things can be as scary — and heart wrenching — for a parent as witnessing a child suffering from a severe and painful burn. While burns might not be thought of as common, each year Children's Trauma and Burn Service treats more than 1,000 critically-injured infants, children, and adolescents. The good news is that in 2012, nearly 700 families learned how to keep their children safer through Children's burn prevention outreach.

The two-part approach to outreach and education includes working one-on-one with families at neighborhood activities, during observances like Fire Prevention Week and at community health events, where training is provided through handouts and age-appropriate prevention tools. Outreach and prevention coordinators also educate young parents through structured classes that reinforce proper care of infants and young children, as well as practices designed to prevent burn-related childhood injuries. Recent data show that these targeted interventions are working. There has been a significant decline in childhood burns for children ages 0 to 4 in several at-risk Washington, DC neighborhoods, and post-intervention assessments of young parents find they are retaining and applying injury and burn prevention knowledge in their homes. These promising outcomes support the idea that working within communities and empowering parents with tools and education can lay the groundwork for a burn and injury-free future for District children.