In Pune, children under the age of 14 are most commonly affected by burns caused by heat, followed by friction and electrical burns. A burn is an injury to skin, or other tissues, caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, friction, or radiation.
Burns and scalding are the second leading cause of injury that occur among children below 14 years of age at home. Burns and scalding often lead to lifelong disabilities.
‘Burns are quite common and most happen as children are unattended. About 3,000 or an average of eight children a day, suffer third-degree burns that cause the most damage.’
Negligence by parents at home has led to such burns among children. Specialist Jaisingh Shinde, said, "There is no particular reason, but the prevalence is high. Parents cited the cause of injuries to be caused while drinking milk, taking a bath, offering tea or coffee."
The Safe Kids Foundation India released the results of a report on the first city-wide assessment of burns and severity of preventable injuries among children at home.
In 2014, nearly 76,000 children in Pune suffered burn and scalding injuries. Of these, about 3,000 or an average of eight children a day, suffered third-degree burns causing the most damage.
The foundation conducted the survey along with the Indian Market Research Bureau with funding from Honeywell India.
The assessment presents the details on the causes of injuries, number of visits to general physician, leading causes of burn and scald injuries at home, what worries parents the most, what parents do to ensure the safety of their children and the need for creating awareness.
Sanjiv Mehta, director of Safe Kids Foundation India, said, "When we asked parents in Pune about what they thought were the top hazards for burn injuries in their homes, they reported those associated with electric shock caused by a water heating rod placed in a bucket of water and exposure to loose or non-insulated wires."
Injuries due to children playing with fireworks and drinking hot liquids were the top burn hazards that children faced. Injuries due to electric shocks were low in the list of preventable injuries at home.
General physicians rated burn injuries due to contact with motorcycle silencers high in terms of severity.
Child specialist Kumar Mandhare, said, "At least one case of accidental burns is reported at every week at my clinic. These burns are quite common and most happen as children are unattended. Mostly, these are superficial burns, not very serious and the percentage of burns is between 1 and 10 mainly on hands and legs and recovery is fast among children."
The report also found that only 20 percent of schools conduct prevention and safety training as part of their education. The assessment highlighted the need for creating awareness in schools.
The Safe Kids Foundation India has launched a home-safety awareness program to help prevent and reduce burns and scalding among children in the city.