Strong Burn Center Joins National Effort
New System To Define Scope of Problem, Provide Basis for Regulations
July 14, 2003
The Strong Regional Burn Center has joined forces with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and 115 burn centers nationwide in an initiative to collect data about serious clothing-related burns to children younger than age 15.
Little research exists to understand the extent of clothing-related burns on children. With the new National Burn Center Reporting System, Strong and other burn centers will report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) any incidents in which a child’s clothing is believed to play a part in a burn injury. CPSC will then assign an investigator to the case to conduct an in-depth investigation into the circumstances surrounding the burn injury, and this information will be logged into the commission’s databases.
"We want sound science and solid data to be the basis for decisions we make on regulatory strategies," says Hal Stratton, chairman of the CPSC. "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. We’re grateful for the involvement of the Strong Regional Burn Center in this new reporting system."
CPSC has relied on injury reports supplied by about 100 hospital emergency rooms nationwide to produce national estimates for specific burn injury categories including those related to children's clothing. The new National Burn Reporting System will augment the injury surveillance data by providing additional, more specific, detail. New regulatory strategies for children’s clothing from the CPSC will be based on the data collected.
"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 Christopher Lentz, M.D., director of the Strong Regional Burn Center. "Up until now, we’ve relied on rough estimates and anecdotes to give us a sense of the scope of the issue. This new system should give researchers confidence that clothing-related burns to children will be well documented, and ultimately will form the basis for reducing childhood burns."
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 Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new system is a cooperative effort of Strong Regional Burn Center, the American Burn Association, Shriners Hospitals for Children and the National Association of State Fire Marshals, as well as other burn centers across the nation.