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Medical Center Burn Unit Studies Burns Related to Children’s Clothing

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Burn Unit at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has joined the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and about 115 burn centers nationwide in a project to collect data about serious clothing-related burns to children under age 15.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new National Burn Center Reporting System is a cooperative effort of the Burn Unit at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, the American Burn Association, Shriners Hospitals for Children and the National Association of State Fire Marshals.

Under the new system, burn centers that treat children will report to the commission any incidents in which a child’s clothing is believed to play a part in a burn injury. “We report any incidents that include the ignition, melting or smoldering of wearing apparel worn by children,” said Donna Joyner, Trauma/Community Outreach Coordinator at the Medical Center.

“One of our top priorities is to keep families safe from fires,” said Hal Stratton, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. “We want sound science and solid data to be the basis for decisions we make on regulatory strategies. The National Burn Center Reporting System will give us a more complete picture of the most serious clothing-related burns to children and help us prevent or reduce burn incidents in the future.”

When a participating burn center reports an incident to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the commission investigates circumstances surrounding the burn injury. The information is logged into the commission’s epidemiological databases.

“This tool will give safety experts much needed information that was previously not available to better document and understand the nature and cause of clothing-related burn injuries to children,” said Joyner. “We share the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s goal to keep families safe from fires.”

The National Association of State Fire Marshals also is participating by retrieving and preserving for the commission children’s clothing involved in burn injuries.

The Burn Unit at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center serves central and western North Carolina and Virginia. It has eight beds and treats at least 150 patients each year.

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Media Contacts: Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu; or Mark Wright, mwright@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.

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