Burn injury continues to be a huge burden on Australia's overall health care system with the acute care costs of a life threatening burn injury potentially amounting to $1 million. There are over 20,000 burn injury related hospital admissions each year and burn injury is one of the top three causes of hospitalisation in children under five years of age.
As outlined in the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ) Annual Report 2014/15, 95% of all burn injuries during this period were recorded as preventable. This is reason why the Burns Trust is committed to reducing the incidence and impact of burn injury through burns prevention and first aid education programs and community awareness initiatives targeted at high risk demographics. In 2015/16 our prevention strategy focused around our National Community Awareness programs and the BurnSafe Education Program, introducing several exciting new initiatives.
National Community Awareness Campaigns
On June the 1st we launched the inaugural National Burns Awareness Month (1-30 June) to raise greater awareness amongst the Australian community about the correct first aid treatment for minor burns. An initiative of the Julian Burton Burns Trust and Burnaid, we hosted a series of national awareness campaigns, produced an engaging videographic and ran a national media campaign raising much awareness about burn injury and first aid across the country.
This year we also extended our reach through attendance at all five National Pregnancy Babies and Children's Expos. These expos continued to be an ideal platform for educating parent and carers of young children and at the same time raising awareness about burn injury prevention and first aid. This year we attended PBC Expos in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and at the same time reached a record 20,000 families thanks to the support of Mundipharma Pharmaceuticals.
Another new initiative in 15/16 was the introduction of a "Burns Education Day". Run in the high traffic strip of Rundle Mall, SA we engaged over 830 families and disseminated information about burns prevention during the April school holidays. We also made our bi-annual visit to the Tunarama Festival in Port Lincoln for the Australia Day Long Weekend, reaching over 3,000 people. 73 downloads of our Cool Swipe app were also recorded over this time.
BurnSafe Education Programs (SA)
The BurnSafe Schools Program continued to educate a growing number of students in SA. This burns prevention and first aid education program encourages primary school aged students to be more aware of the incidence and impact of burn injury, its major causes and how they can reduce the risk of suffering a burn injury. This program continues to be fully booked throughout the school calendar in SA, and once again we over delivered on our commitment to educate a minimum of 10,000 primary school aged children annually.
On 22nd June 2016 we launched the BurnSafe Junior Program, an extension of our highly successful BurnSafe Schools Program. Designed to tackle the high incidence of burn injury in children under the age of five, Early Learning Centres and Educators are provided with important early education through the National Curriculum. Centres are also provided with a 'borrowers pack' for two weeks post visit for educators to extend the children's learnings. At launch date we had 15 Early Learning Centres booked for this program, reinforcing the need for such a program in the community.
The BurnSafe Education Programs are proudly supported by the Government of South Australia, Fay Fuller Foundation and AGL Energy. The development and pilot of the BurnSafe Junior Program was made possible thanks to the support of the Morialta Trust and KeyInvest.
Bethany Farley, our Community Education Manager also spoke to an international audience at the 12th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference in Sydney. She presented on 'Primary burns prevention and first aid education - does it work?', discussing the positive impacts and results of the BurnSafe Schools Program.