Ben and Bella’s story is a valuable resource for helping children to prevent burns
A nine-year analysis of Australian children hospitalised for burns has found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were admitted three times more frequently than non-Indigenous children, and spent five times as long in hospital recovering, making the prevention of burn injuries an especially pressing issue for First Nations communities, and the broader support networks who work with them, including early childhood education and care (ECEC) facilities.
Data from the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand reveals that in 2019/20, the most common cause of burn injury amongst paediatric patients was scalds (52 per cent), followed by contact (25 per cent) and flame burns (11 per cent).
“Whether read to them by a parent, carer or teacher, or enjoyed on a beanbag with their mates in their school library, ‘Ben & Bella Save The Day!’ is a very Australian story about the causes of burns, prevention and some simple burns first aid tips,” a Foundation spokesperson said.
The story takes children on a journey that supports early burns prevention education for children themselves, as well as their parents and extended family.
In Western Australia, from 2022, children from kindergarten to Year Two will engage with the story, as well as two others, as part of the broader Ben and Bella Burnsafe Superheroes education program, following the expansion of the Foundation’s innovative education.
“If children read these stories or have the stories read to them by their teachers, mums and dads, it will help them become more aware of the dangers of scalds, flames and other hot objects, which will keep children and all of us more burn safe,” Professor Fiona Wood said.
“Knowing the correct first aid can make a significant difference in the need for surgery, rehabilitation and the long-term outcome of the burn for our kids and learning at this young age will be something they remember for life.”