While protecting your child from harm is a top concern for every parent, it is just as important to give your young ones the tools they need to keep themselves safe. Therefore, teaching kids basic fire safety tips should be a top priority. The good news is that this approach works: According to the US Fire Administration, fewer children die in fires today compared to 10 years ago, and the fire death rate of children aged 0-14 decreased 48 percent from 2006-20l15. Officials credit an increase in fire education and prevention efforts as the primary reason for these encouraging statistics. The bad news is that fire-related deaths and burn injuries still affect children at an alarming frequency, due in part because parents struggle with teaching safety. A few fire safety tips for kids will make sure your children know the essentials.
Explain What to Do in the Event of a Fire
Since 87 percent of all fire-related fatalities are residential, teaching kids what to do in a home fire is crucial. Occupants may have less than two minutes to vacate the house once an alarm or smoke detector sounds, so:
- Develop a fire escape plan that offers two routes out of every room, and practice drills on a regular basis. Use a stopwatch to time how fast your family can get out of the home. Children are really engaged when you make the event a competition, though they should understand the real thing is no game.
- Children should not be scared by the sound of a fire alarm, so teach them how to respond when they hear the siren. They should know to stay low and creep out of the home, so coach them on how to escape even when you are not present.
- The “Stop – Drop – Roll” rule that you learned as a child still applies. If their clothing ignites, instruct kids on this mechanism for putting out the fire.
Let Kids Know How to React if They Suffer a Burn Injury
You should always seek appropriate medical care for serious burns as soon as possible after suffering a first, second, or third-degree burn injury. However, it is also important for parents to teach children what to do about immediate burn first aid, such as:
- Stop the burning to prevent the injury from becoming more severe or spreading. Cover flames with a heavy blanket or smother the person with a wet towel.
- Remove all clothing near the site of the burn, unless the item is stuck to the injury. Extracting fabric opens up the burn and can lead to infection and other complications. Instead, do your best to cut the looser parts of clothing away.
- Remove any jewelry from the immediate area around the burn injury, as swelling may make these items hard take off later.
Additional Tips for Parents on Teaching Fire Safety
Other suggestions on basic fire safety tips for kids include:
- Stay vigilant around lit candles;
- Never play with lighters or matches; and,
- Use caution in the kitchen when cooking around flames.
Talk to a Knowledgeable Lawyer If Your Child Sustained Burn Injuries
If you or your child suffered burn injuries in a fire, please contact the experienced Columbia burn injury lawyers at Walker Morgan to discuss your circumstances. You may be able to recover compensation for your losses as a burn injury victim, and we can assist you with filing a claim.