Burns prevention


Safer Candle Project

Young children are particularly vulnerable to being injured or dying as a result of burns. Burn injuries claim approximately 1 300 young lives each year. Fallen candles are one of the main causes of shack fires in South Africa, which have devastating consequences and result in huge economic losses.

The Safer Candle Project was launched in 2006 in response to the high levels of burns presented at the Red Cross Hospital. The goal of the project is to facilitate and promote safer use of candles in a glass jar, with the aim to prevent res, burn injuries and deaths caused by fallen candles.

The Safer Candle Project is 11 years old in 2018 and has become one of ChildSafe’s established programmes. It has been widely accepted and been approved by World Wide Fund for Nature SA (WWF) for Earth Hour 2011 & 2012.

The idea of candle in the glass jar is recommended as its very simple and preventative measure to reduce res mainly caused by candles tipping. One of its advantages is that it places no financial burden on families, as there are virtually no costs involved.

The Safer Candle Project includes demonstrations to parents and care-givers at the outpatients unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital on Tuesdays. Parents and care-givers receive a free Safer Candle pack. The main aim is to show people how they can do it for themselves and share with neighbours, friends and family. ChildSafe is always looking for donations of glass jars and candles to support the project.

Kettle Strap Project

The aim of the Home Safety Programme is to keep children safe in and around their homes by building the capacity of their caregivers and parents. ChildSafe, in collaboration with the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, published a paper on the Kettle Strap, a new concept for preventing burns in the home, as part of the Burns Prevention Project. The kettle strap is the brainchild of a retired nurse and long term serving volunteer at Child Safe, Dorothy Schulman, of the Safer Candle Project. 

The paper, titled Acceptability and functionality of the “Kettle Strap”: An attempt to decrease kettle related burns in children was published in the International Burns Journal. The design of the Kettle Strap was conceived as a result of a study among patients at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. Scalding injuries from kettles were identified as a major cause of paediatric burn injury. The injuries occur when kettles are pulled off the counter or table from the dangling kettle cord. The Kettle Strap prevents the kettle from being pulled down.

burn prevention