BC's Burn Awareness Week is sponsored by the BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund

Fire and burn injuries are the second leading cause of accidental death in children
aged one to four years, and the third leading cause of injury and death for those aged one to eighteen.

The BC Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund's Annual Burn Awareness Week (BAW) program is designed to teach kids to be responsible for their own safety, and help make their families aware of potentially harmful situations. The program targets children in the high risk age group from pre-school to grade seven.

The majority of Canadian parents aren’t aware of the scald and burn hazards in their homes.  A survey by Safe Kids Canada found that 70% of Canadian parents did not know that the most common cause of burn injuries to children is scalds from hot liquids, such as spilled hot drinks and hot tap water, rather than fire.

"Most adults realize that children need to be kept safe from fire or hot objects like the stove, but they do not realize that hot liquids are just as dangerous,” says Tim Baillie, Burn Fund Director and Chair, Burn Awareness Week program. “Hot liquids burn just like fire.”

Each year an estimated 9,000 children in Canada visit hospital emergency room for burns, and almost half of these have suffered scalds from hot liquids.  Close to 1,000 Canadian children are hospitalized each year for severe scalds and burns and approximately 50% of these children are hospitalized for scalds alone.

Scalds from hot tap water are often the most severe.  Children’s skin is thinner and more sensitive. A child’s skin burns four times more quickly and more deeply than an adult’s skin at the same temperature.  Most home hot water heaters in Canada are set at 60° Celsius.  At this temperature, a child’s skin can burn in just one second. 

The Burn Awareness Week Program

Public and private elementary schools in British Columbia, parents, students – anyone – can access the program, which includes burn awareness safety tip information, student activity sheets, quizzes, colouring pages, and animated videos.  The BAW program is available in PDF format for easy download and printing. 

The BAW program is educational, fun and interactive.  The program is divided into age-appropriate safety lessons, intended for Pre-School, Kindergarten/Grade 1; Grade 2/3; Grade 4/5; and Grade 6/7.  Some lessons are also available in French, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Punjabi.

Students are invited to enter the annual Burn Awareness Week Poster Contest.  Every entrant receives a participation prize and fifty students can win money for their elementary school or BC Ministry of Education sanctioned distance education facility.  There are seven regional prizes to be awarded, including a $1,000 grand prize and six $500 regional prizes.  Regions are the Lower Mainland (three winners), Vancouver Island, Kootenays, Northern BC and the Okanagan (one winner for each area).  Forty-three students win runner-up prizes of $50 each for their school or distance education facility.  Complete prize details, rules and regulations are listed at: Poster Rules and Prizes 2014.

Software Required: To view all the materials, you will need Adobe Acrobat PDF files (for printouts) as well as Flash 6.0 (for animations and games). If you do not have this software installed, click the software names to download for free.