Karla Klas, BSN, RN, CCRP, manages the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center's nationally acclaimed community and family-centered injury prevention programs. Her 24-year career spans critical care burn/trauma nursing, research, public education, professional development training, and injury prevention. She has produced numerous textbook chapters, medical journal articles, and has received several grant awards. She has been appointed to leadership roles on committees devoted to injury control, including chair of the American Burn Association’s Burn Prevention Committee. An award-winning educator, speaker, and author, Karla, in her spare time, volunteers in burn survivor support programs, mentors at-risk youth, and writes children’s books.
National Burn Awareness Week is February 5 – 11, 2017
Our country recognizes the first full week in February as National Burn Awareness Week. It is an opportunity for burn, fire and life safety educators to unite in sharing a common burn awareness and prevention message in their communities. Most fire-related injuries are burns. In fact, according to the American Burn Association, each year more than 486,000 individuals receive medical treatment for burns in the United States and Canada. Every minute, someone in the U.S. sustains a burn injury serious enough to require treatment. The alarming frequency of burn injuries and their potential for having a life-long impact, means that burn injury is a fire and life safety (FLS) topic that we should all be focused on. So use National Burn Awareness Week as the perfect opportunity to connect with your communities, engage with your colleagues, and promote your department’s FLS activities.
Not sure where to start or what exactly to do to highlight National Burn Awareness Week? Here are a few ideas to get started:
-Check out the newly revamped National Burn Awareness Week materials created by our fellow burn and fire service colleagues. While this year’s theme is broad (i.e., all mechanisms of burn injury or “The MOB”), consider targeting your outreach efforts around the most frequently occurring type in your local population.
- Do an educational outreach presentation on burn injuries and prevention in a school, senior center, civic group meeting, place of worship, or other location where folks in your local community gather.
- Start an Online Challenge (a positive one!): Challenge the youth, older adults, or families in your community to come up with potential creative solutions to prevent burn injuries in their peers.
Here are even more community activity ideas for 2017 Burn Awareness Week.
The possibilities are endless for how to make National Burn Awareness Week impactful. NFPA’s Burn Awareness web page provides a number of tools. Please share your creative ideas with us. It is with our united voices and active partnerships that we can successfully increase burn awareness, provide safety education, encourage injury prevention practices, and reduce the number of life-changing injuries. Now, go forth and do great work with your National Burn Awareness Week programs.