Family tells story to warn others
Auckland | Tuesday, 7 August 2007
The Bridge family brought the story
of four-year-old Corwin's horror burns to the Rodney Times as a
warning to other parents.
They say no matter how well you
believe you have trained your children in fire safety, be extra
careful because youngsters seem to be able to find a way around
almost any barrier.
Corwin, who is autistic, was trained
by his parents to fear fire.
"The winter is not yet over and we
would hate anything similar to happen to anyone else," says Corwin's
"I was struck by the fact that even
the serious burns unit at Middlemore had run short of beds because
of an influx of burn victims."
If your child - or any other person
- suffers a burn, St John Ambulance says ensure no one else is in
danger from chemicals, electricity, fire or other agents that caused
Call for an ambulance straight away
for burns larger than a patient’s hand or if the burn involves the
face, neck, hands, feet, joints or genitals.
You should also call if the patient
is in a lot of pain, is very old or young, or has a significant
chronic medical problem.
Flood the area with cold water -
though not ice cold - for 20 minutes to reduce pain and damage.
St John says you should not try to
remove clothing stuck to the skin, or put any creams on the burns.
If possible, remove any restrictive
jewellery and lightly cover the burn with cling film or a clean
dressing to prevent infection.
Design to reduce fire risk
Strict rules apply to children's
The Product Safety Standards
Regulations 2005 (children's nightwear and limited daywear having
reduced fire hazard) apply to all nightwear from size 00 to 14.
They aim to ensure that all
nightwear is either designed to reduce fire danger or is made of
fabrics that are less likely to burn if they do catch fire.
The Commerce Commission is
responsible for enforcing the standard and says it has four
categories of acceptable nightwear.
Category one covers garments made
from fabrics with low flame properties.
Category two is for garments which
because of their design are less likely to catch alight and, if they
do, the spread of flames is reduced because of the design features.
Category three covers all-in-one
style garments made mainly from knitted fabrics in sizes 00 to 2.
Category four garments are assigned
a high flammability rating.
The standard sets burn tests for
each category and for categories two, three and four; it also sets
out design and dimension specifications.
Garments that do not meet the
requirements of any of these categories are considered to have a
high flammability rating and are therefore unacceptable as
For example, the commission says a
thin cotton ankle-length nightgown would catch fire much more easily
than a fitting pair of cotton pyjamas.
All garments covered by the standard
must have labels permanently attached and clearly visible.
If the garment consists of two or
more pieces, such as pyjamas, both pieces must be labelled.
Meanwhile, the Consumers Institute
has urged caution with gas fires and heaters.
Spokesman Hamish Wilson says the
institute believes radiant type portable heaters are a danger.
"They are not suitable for heating
rooms where there may be young children," he says.
"If there is no alternative, they
should be used with a suitable fireguard so children can’t get close
enough to be burned."
Mr. Wilson says wall and fireplace
mounted radiant style models should also be fitted with fixed
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