Burn is a painful and horrifying incident and children are mostly the victims. Common first aid responses in Bangladesh are to apply raw egg or rotten parts of banana tree to the wound, paste the area with mud or soak the wound continuously with water. To halt this devastatinghealth issue, a national strategy and programme for burn prevention must be developed.

Burns in Bangladesh

•  Burn is one of the major causes of childhood illnesses in Bangladesh and is the third leading cause of illness of one to four year-old children
•     Around 1,700 children are fatally burnt each year. This is approximately five children a day
•     Burns injure more than 240,000 people each year
•     Over 1,70,000 of them are children
•     Young children, females, and rural dwellers are at the highest risk
•      The home is the most risky place for children and females for burn injury
•      The average hospital stay due to burn injury is 15 days
•      The average number of days absent from school due to burn injury is 21.64 and days absent from work is 22.96

How to prevent burns

•  Never leave a child alone with matches, lighters, candles, kerosene lamps or open fires
•  Be careful when cooking or handling hot foods, liquids or objects. Always be mindful of wherethe children are

How to treat a burn
 •      If burned cool the skin under cool running water and keep it clean.
 •   Apply cold water or allow the burnt area to re-main in contact with cold water for some time.
 •   Do not use oil, creams or any other materials to cool the burn
  •   If flame injuries, extinguish the flames by allowing the patient to roll on the ground, or by applying a blanket, or using    water or other fire extinguishing liquids. Rapidly place the victim in a supine position

•     In chemical burns, remove or dilute the chemical agent by using a neutralizing agent when indicated, and by copiously i irrigating the wound

 •    Get a doctor to examine the patient
Source: Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey, 2005